Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th July 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Buscombe on 19 June (HL Deb, col 771), on what occasions the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights was "not keen to engage" with UK officials.

Photo of Baroness Buscombe Baroness Buscombe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Department for Work and Pensions officials liaised extensively with the Special Rapporteur’s office over the arrangements for his visit to the UK last November. From the outset, his staff were clear that Professor Alston’s priority was to secure meetings with UK Government Ministers.

DWP proposed meetings and round tables with senior officials across the relevant departments so that topics, including health, housing and welfare benefits, could be explored in more detail. The scope and time available for these meetings was significantly curtailed as the Special Rapporteur’s office asked that meetings with parliamentary committees and other public bodies, for example the National Audit Office, be prioritised over meetings with UK Government officials.

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