John Mann Appointed As Independent Adviser On Antisemitism

Chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism appointed as independent adviser by Prime Minister Theresa May

10 Downing Street

10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Theresa May has today appointed John Mann as an independent adviser on antisemitism.

Labour MP John Mann, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, will be responsible for providing the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) with independent advice on the most effective methods to tackle antisemitism.

He will also collaborate with Lord Pickles, the UK’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues, as well as Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief, to ensure a consistent approach.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

Antisemitism is racism. It has absolutely no place in our society and we must fight its bitter scourge wherever it rears its head.

I’ve been proud to lead a government that is tackling such discrimination in all its forms – from making sure courts have the powers they need to deal with those who peddle hatred, to asking the Law Commission to undertake a full review of hate crime legislation. But there is yet more to do.

John Mann is, without exception, a key voice on this matter. He has frequently campaigned in the House of Commons on this issue and has tirelessly used his role as a politician to speak out on behalf of victims of anti-Jewish racism.

I am confident he will bring the level of cross-party independent advice needed to advise Government and to ensure we see progress on this very important issue.

John Mann said:

If we stay silent on the issue of antisemitism, we unwittingly allow cowardice and bigotry to speak its own repulsive language.

I will continue to call out those throwing stones of hatred at Jewish people, and will endeavour to give a clarion call to Government on prejudice and discrimination on this issue.

Antisemitism in the UK continues to be a cause for concern. The most recent national hate crime statistics published by the Home Office last October showed that Jewish people were the most likely group to experience religiously motivated hate crime.

The Community Security Trust (CST), the leading Jewish organisation monitoring and supporting victims of antisemitism, recorded 1,652 reported antisemitic incidents in 2018 – their highest annual total on record for the third year running.

Government Sets Out Vision For A Safe And Biodiverse Railway Lineside

Network Rail strategy to protect and enhance the UK’s lineside environment released

Railway, Trees

Railway, Trees

  • government agrees ambitious policy to balance passenger safety with protection of lineside vegetation
  • new policy follows independent review into vegetation management alongside 20,000km of train tracks
  • Varley Review welcomes progress made by government and stakeholders to date

The Department for Transport (DfT) has set out a clear strategy for how it expects Network Rail to protect and enhance the UK’s lineside environment, while ensuring the safety of passengers and services.

The strategy follows recommendations from the independently chaired review led by John Varley, a non-executive director of the Environment Agency. First commissioned by the department in May 2018 to look at Network Rail’s lineside vegetation management, Valuing nature – a railway for people and wildlife, has outlined a number of proposals to protect and increase biodiversity.

The new policy has been drawn up in collaboration with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs’ 25 Year Environment Plan. This ambitious document challenges Network Rail to achieve no net loss in biodiversity across the network by 2024, deliver a net gain in biodiversity by 2040 and produce a vision statement and biodiversity action plan by December 2019 detailing how it will meet these goals.

These targets build on the good practice Network Rail already deploy across the network to ensure vegetation does not delay journeys.

Rail Minister, Andrew Jones, said:

I’m pleased that we have agreed an ambitious strategy for enhancing the important vegetation and wildlife alongside our railways.

As we strive for a cleaner, greener railway, we must also work hard to enrich our unique biodiversity. The good work Network Rail is already doing ensures that we strike a balance between effective management, protecting passengers and reducing delays.

We must now go further and ensure we leave a legacy of a greener, vibrant and more diverse railway.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

This strategy clearly sets out how Network Rail should manage and maintain their trackside trees, and I hope that it will be the catalyst for greener and more environmentally ambitious transport policy across the country.

Trees are not only a source of beauty and wonder, but are also carbon sinks, a way to manage flood risk and a habitat for precious species – this is why we are so intent on ensuring the right balance is struck by all those who manage these vital natural assets.

Chair of the review, John Varley, said:

I’m impressed with how much Network Rail and government have achieved in the last 7 months. There is a now a clear policy, a vision and a commitment to protect and enhance biodiversity, while continuing to keep safety centre stage. Whilst I do not underestimate the challenge in delivering my recommendations over the coming months and years, the leadership, commitment and progress I have witnessed, gives me much confidence. I am delighted that there is now much wider recognition of the need for responsible stewardship of the railway’s natural assets.

Chief executive of Network Rail, Andrew Haines, said:

The Varley Review has been a welcome opportunity for us to develop an ambitious plan that both supports our core purpose of delivering a reliable and safe railway for passengers and increasing biodiversity on the railway. Our commitment is to manage lineside vegetation as a natural asset and enhance the habitats in a way that supports the sustainability of the rail network and the communities we serve.

UK Overseas Intellectual Property Attaché Network

Thinking of doing business in South East Asia, China, Brazil and India? Help and advice is available through our IP liaison officers (attaches)

Intellectual Property Office

Intellectual Property Office

Also referred to as Intellectual Property (IP) attachés, the IP liaison officers work with local UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) leads to provide support for UK businesses seeking advice on local IP matters.

They also:

  • raise awareness of IP through business outreach. This includes briefing business delegations, joint webinars with DIT and local trade associations
  • liaise with host governments and stakeholders about local and international IP frameworks / environment
Contact Details
Desmond Tan: South East Asia

Joined IPO: April 2018

Career history: Prior to joining the High Commission, Desmond was a Senior Assistant Director with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). In his five years at IPOS, Desmond was deeply involved in IP projects spanning diverse portfolios such as policy and planning, industry engagement and promotion, and capabilities development. In his other life, Desmond was a project engineer with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) managing defence technology projects and transfers of aviation technologies. Desmond has a Degree in Mechanical Engineering (Aeronautical) from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Contact details: email:; tel: +65 9088 4018; address: British High Commission Singapore, 100 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247919.

Cerian Foulkes: China

Joined IPO: April 2019

Career history: Prior to joining the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), Cerian was Senior Innovation Policy Officer for the UK government’s Science and Innovation Network in China. Previous to this, she worked in the China team of the UK’s Research Councils and in the auto industry. Cerian has lived and worked in China for over nine years and is fluent in Mandarin.

Focus in China: China’s IP framework is fast developing and the UK is a key international partner. Cerian and her team in Beijing and Shanghai, provide direct support to UK companies with concerns across the IP spectrum, particularly in supporting enforcement outcomes. The team also works closely with a number of Chinese government agencies on IP, to share UK expertise and best practice. This work is part of wider engagement by the UK IPO with China, including the annual UK-China IP Symposium and technical exchanges.

Contact details: email:; address: British Embassy, 11 Guanghua Lu, Beijing 100200.

Angelica Garcia: Brazil

Joined IPO: August 2016

Career history: Lawyer with a LL.M in IP & International Trade from Queen Mary University, London. She was formerly Director of Marketing & Business Development for ACE Aceleratech start-up accelerator in Brazil and Latin America and worked on Deloitte’s German-Brazilian Desk. Most recently she worked for the Department for International Trade (formerly UKTI) of the British Government.

Focus in Brazil: Assisting UK companies that have IP issues in Brazil and working closely with Government to ensure that there is a strong IPframework. This includes outreach with both officials and business, highlighting the benefits of a strong IP system. Specific areas of interest include addressing backlogs in patents and trade marks, Geographical Indications (GIs), pharmaceuticals and IP enforcement.

Contact details: email:; tel: +55 11 3094 2729; address: British Consulate General, Rua Ferreira de Araújo, 741, São Paulo, Brazil – 05428-002.


Post currently vacant.

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Stronger Protections For The Environment Move Closer As Landmark Bill Takes Shape

New measures to enhance wildlife, transform our waste system and improve the resilience of water supplies set out in Environment Bill policy statement



New measures to enhance wildlife, transform our waste system and improve the resilience of water supplies have been set out today by Environment Secretary Michael Gove (Tuesday 23 July).

In an update on progress towards the introduction of the landmark Environment Bill – the first for 20 years – the government has published firm positions, following a range of consultations, on issues ranging from trees to water to recycling, to boost our natural environment.

Mr Gove has set out the government’s ambitions for the full Environment Bill in an updated summer policy statement, including commitments to legislate on environmental governance, air, biodiversity, water, and waste and resource efficiency.

As well as this, the government has published a report on the feasibility of achieving the World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline level of 10 micrograms per cubic metre for fine particulate matter (PM2.5). This report concludes that, whilst challenging, it would be technically feasible to meet the WHO guideline level across the UK. Further analysis is needed to understand what would be an appropriate timescale and means, and we will work with a broad range of experts, factoring in full economic, social and technological feasibility to do this.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

We know we must do all we can to protect our precious natural environment. There is a clear need to act to ensure we do not leave this planet to the next generation more polluted, more dangerous and denuded of its natural riches.

The measures in our Environment Bill will position the UK as a world leader, ensuring that after EU Exit environmental ambition and accountability are placed more clearly than ever before at the heart of government.

As we have set out today, our plans will improve air quality so that our children live longer, restore habitats and increase biodiversity, strive towards a more circular economy and ensure we can manage our precious water resources in a changing climate.

Announced by the Prime Minister last year, the landmark Environment Bill will be an essential step to put the 25 Year Environment Plan on statutory footing, placing environmental ambition and accountability at the heart of government. It will be introduced early in the second session of this Parliament.

HM Treasury has also published a summary of responses to its consultation on a world-leading new plastic packaging tax that will encourage greater use of recycled plastic and help to tackle plastic waste.

The great amount of interest shown from both the public, environmental groups and industry, highlights how important an issue this is to many. The government will set out next steps related to the tax at the Budget.

Government responses to consultations

Today’s publications include responses to six public consultations and set out next steps for:

  • A deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers – More than 200,000 people responded to this consultation, demonstrating strong support for a DRS scheme. The Bill will introduce powers that will enable a deposit return scheme to be implemented in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 2023.
  • Consistency in household and business recycling – The government aims to make it easier for people to recycle by implementing a consistent and simplified approach across local authorities. The government will legislate to introduce a core set of consistent recyclable materials (including food waste) to be collected from all households and businesses, supporting frequent and comprehensive rubbish and recycling collections. It will also require manufacturers to put clearer labelling on packaging so consumers know what they can recycle.
  • Extended producer responsibility (EPR) – The Environment Secretary has been clear he wants to drive a shift in the market towards durable, repairable and recyclable products. New powers to enact EPR schemes that will ensure producers pay the full costs of managing the disposal of their products will be sought, as well as powers to enable government to set resource efficient product requirements.
  • Biodiversity net gain – A mandatory approach to biodiversity net gain will be introduced in the Bill that will legally require developers to ensure habitats for wildlife are enhanced, with a 10% increase in habitat for wildlife compared with the pre-development baseline.
  • Conservation covenants – The government plans to legislate on conservation covenants, a voluntary agreement between a landowner and others (for example, a conservation charity) to help guarantee positive local conservation for the long term.
  • Improving our management of water in the environment – The Environment Secretary has been clear that water companies need to do more to help improve the environment and better prepare for future demand for water. There was strong support in response to a consultation on proposals to improve long-term planning of water resources and drainage. The Bill will introduce powers to direct water companies to work together to address these issues, such as transferring supplies between catchments during drought conditions, and instructing them to have robust plans in place to maintain supplies.
Report on air quality target

The government is committed to tackling air pollution, and has already published its Clean Air Strategy which the World Health Organisation praised as an example for the rest of the world to follow. Alongside the consultation responses, the government has also published a report on air quality, assessing progress towards WHO guideline levels for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) of 10 micrograms per cubic metre.

On the basis of scientific modelling, which has not considered economic viability and practical deliverability, we believe that, whilst challenging, it would be technically feasible to meet the World Health Organization guideline level for PM2.5 – the most damaging air pollutant – across the UK. The government will continue to work with experts on further analysis to understand potential timescales for achieving this guideline level.

This will be underpinned by legislation on key measures in the Clean Air Strategy, giving legal force to our plans. The government will also enable greater local action on air pollution by, for example, ensuring responsibility for tackling air pollution is shared (across local government structures and with relevant public bodies) and by better enabling local government to tackle emissions from burning coal and wood.


policy statement has also been published today, summarising progress so far and updating on the direction and vision of the Bill.

The headline announcements set out are:

  1. The Office for Environmental Protection will offer a free-to-use complaints system, and crucially have the power to undertake its own investigations at its own instigation.
  2. The Office for Environmental Protection will be able to take central Government and public bodies to court for any failure to abide by environmental law, if necessary.
Air Quality
  1. Air quality has been steadily improving thanks to our £3.5 billion plan to clean up vehicle emissions and our Clean Air Strategy, which the WHO praised as an example for the rest of the world to follow.
  2. On the basis of scientific modelling, which has not considered economic viability and practical deliverability, we believe that, whilst challenging, it would be technically feasible to meet the World Health Organization guideline level for PM2.5 – the most damaging air pollutant – across the UK.
  3. We will ensure that all local bodies with powers to control emissions act together in a coordinated way.
  4. We will be giving Local Authorities stronger powers in the Environment Bill to reduce emissions from polluting domestic burning.
  1. In the Environment Bill, we will legislate to mandate biodiversity ‘net gain’ in future developments.
  2. We will ensure that the environmental impacts of new commercial and residential developments are more than made up for, either on-site or by ensuring money is invested in improving existing habitats and restoring nature depleted environments to health.
  3. We believe mandating biodiversity net gain will secure tens of millions of pounds a year in additional revenue for nature. That money will be invested in habitats such as new woodlands, grasslands and wetlands.
  4. By legislating for conservation covenants, we can ensure that land owners have the opportunity legally to lock in the benefits generated by policies like net gain and our farming reform.
  5. We will include a new system of environmental spatial mapping in the Environment Bill.
  6. We will legislate for a new framework for Local Nature Recovery Strategies in the Environment Bill, to help support the Nature Recovery Network and better direct investment in the environment and green infrastructure, for example through biodiversity net gain – creating places that are richer in wildlife and provide wider benefits for local communities.
  7. We will fulfill our manifesto commitment with a clear legal duty to consult before any street trees are felled, learning lessons from the Forestry Commission’s investigation into the Sheffield Council’s felling programme. Waste and Resource Efficiency
  8. Our new legal powers will allow us to set resource- efficiency product standards, driving a shift in the market towards more durable, reparable and recyclable products. We will also set information requirements so that manufacturers can communicate the resource efficiency of their products more effectively, allowing consumers to make more environmentally friendly purchasing decisions.
  9. We will ensure packaging producers pay the full net costs of disposing of their packaging at end of life. At the moment, producers pay only around 10% of the cost of household packaging waste. We will make them responsible for 100% of the net cost incurred in dealing with their packaging once it becomes waste.
  10. Where waste cannot be avoided, we will introduce a consistent and simplified approach to recycling across local authorities, making it simpler for everyone to recycle, with a consistent set of materials to be collected from all households and businesses (including food waste), and clearer labelling on packaging so we all know what we can recycle.
  11. We will take powers in the Environment Bill to introduce deposit return schemes, and powers to introduce an electronic system of waste tracking to enable better use of waste as a resource and make it easier to identify and stop illegal activity.
  12. We want to introduce a DRS from 2023, subject to further consultation and analysis of the costs and benefits.
  1. The government’s priorities for the water sector, in line with the 25 Year Plan, are clear: they should be securing long-term, resilient water and wastewater services, protecting customers from potentially unaffordable bills and also making sure that we have a cleaner, greener country for the next generation.
  2. Through the Environment Bill, we will support regulators in ensuring that customers and the environment are protected. We will legislate to strengthen Ofwat’s powers to update water companies’ licences, in order to make sure that they can do their job.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
  • The government consulted on plans which will see the costs of recycling borne by those that produce packaging waste and place it on the market.
  • Currently, packaging producers pay only around 10 per cent of the cost of dealing with packaging waste. By increasing that to cover the full net amount, government will incentivise producers to think carefully about using less packaging, and to switch to using packaging that is easier to recycle.
  • Following the overhaul of the packaging regulations, the government will explore extended producer responsibility schemes for items that can be harder or costly to recycle, as set out in our Resources and Waste Strategy. As well as reviewing existing schemes for cars, electrical goods and batteries, this could include things such as textiles, fishing gear, vehicle tyres, certain materials from construction and demolition, and bulky waste such as mattresses, furniture and carpets.

New Chair Of Financial Reporting Council Announced

Simon Dingemans will take up the position in the Autumn

Department for Innovation & Skills

Department for Innovation & Skills

Following an open competition, Simon Dingemans has been appointed as the new Chair of the Financial Reporting Council, and will lead its transition to Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA)

Mr Dingemans will join at a crucial time for the audit regulator. ARGA, the new enhanced regulator, will build on the UK’s status as a great place to do business and will play an important role in strengthening public trust in businesses and the regulations that govern them.

Mr Dingemans said:

I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead this important process to reform the FRC and establish the ARGA as a very different regulator for the future, one that will bring more challenge, transparency and forward thinking.

I also intend the ARGA to be at the forefront of driving the reforms we need to rebuild confidence in the audit market and the reporting and governance standards that underpin trust in UK businesses.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

I would like to congratulate Simon on his appointment. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role in taking forward the transition to the new enhanced regulator, ARGA.

A strong and competitive audit market is crucial to UK business, and our package of reforms will ensure the UK continues to offer the highest standards.

Further Information

Mr Dingemans was until recently the Chief Financial Officer and a member of the main board of GlaxoSmithKline plc. He stepped down in May 2019 after over 8 years with the company. During his time with GSK, he provided operational and financial leadership through a period of significant business transformation including extensive restructuring and the strategic re-shaping of the group and its 3 global businesses: Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare, which together employ nearly 100,000 people.

Mr Dingemans joined GSK in 2011 from Goldman Sachs International where he was a Managing Director and Partner.

He has been a Trustee of the Donmar Theatre since 2018 and also served as Chairman of the 100 Group of Finance Directors between 2014 and 2016. He has a Masters Degree in Geography from Oxford.

The application process involved a pre-appointment hearing with the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee which took place on 17 July. The Committee reported back to Greg Clark, the Business Secretary on Mr Dingemans’ suitability for the post and endorsed the appointment.

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