To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress he has made on implementing recommendation 6 of the Truro Review in accordance with the Government’s Manifesto commitment to (a) establish suitable instruments and roles to monitor and implement his Department's approach to freedom of religion and belief, taking into consideration other international approaches, (b) establish permanently the role of Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, (c) provide that Special Envoy with appropriate resources and authority to work across his Department and (d) appoint a Director General level champion for freedom of religion and belief; and what work on that recommendation remains outstanding.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
9 July 2021
The UK Government has committed to implementing in full the recommendations in the Bishop of Truro's review, and work continues to implement them in a way that will bring real improvement to the lives of those persecuted due to their faith or belief. Of the 22 recommendations we have fully delivered ten, made good progress on a further eight, and are confident that all 22 will be delivered by the time of the independent review in 2022.
On Recommendation 6, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister of State responsible for Human Rights, and Rehman Chishti MP previously served as the Special Envoy. In December 2020 the Prime Minister appointed Fiona Bruce MP as his Special Envoy for freedom of religion and belief. The Special Envoy works with Lord (Tariq) Ahmad, and through the Foreign Secretary to the Prime Minister. The Envoy also works closely with FCDO Ministers in promoting FoRB in their respective geographic areas, and through her Private Secretary in the FCDO, with support from the FCDO FoRB team and other officials on specific aspects of her role, as well as the FCDO media office and Special Advisers. In addition and furthering the establishment of instruments and roles, a DG-level Board Sponsor for FoRB was appointed, replacing the FCO FoRB Board Champion.