Barbara Follett becomes new tourism minister
Barbara Follett, the work and pensions minister, has moved to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to become the new tourism minister
Follett, 65, has been the MP for Stevenage in Hertfordshire since 1997 and is married to novelist Ken Follett. She is replacing Margaret Hodge, who is leaving the Government for family reasons.
Follett was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Tessa Jowell as Minister for Women from 2005 to 2006 and as Culture Secretary from 2006 to 2007.
She was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ruth Kelly as Minister for Women from 2006 to 2007.
Grant Hearn, chief executive of budget hotel chain Travelodge, said: "This latest tourism minister change is certainly no surprise or loss to the industry. What is remarkable is that the Government's eighth tourism head in a decade will arrive with no noted experience or interest in this industry.
"Until the Government understands tourism's contribution to Britain's employment and GDP, we will continue to accommodate a procession of ministers that fail to make a positive contribution."
A spokesman for the British Hospitality Association said: "We welcome the appointment and look forward to emphasising the importance of the tourism industry to the UK economy. We will urge her to support our Take Tourism Seriously campaign."
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By Daniel Thomas
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