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John Penrose resigns as tourism minister

05 September 2012 by
John Penrose resigns as tourism minister

John Penrose has stepped down as tourism minister and it is not yet known whether he will be replaced at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The MP for Weston-super-Mare has decided to go the day after his former boss, the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt was replaced by Maria Miller, the former work and pensions minister.

A spokesman at the DCMS said there was "no decision yet on where his former responsibilities will be put".

"It looks like the total ministerial head count will be reduced," he added.

Penrose told ITN: "I'm very proud of the work I did as part the DCMS team, boosting the tourism industry, cutting red tape and helping with a highly successful Olympic Games as well."

Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive at the British Hospitality Association, said: "We are extremely disappointed that John Penrose has stepped down - he was a great supporter of the tourism industry. We would be extremely concerned if this indicated any downgrading of tourism in the DCMS's list of priorities."

Just three weeks ago, Hunt announced the Government's plans to increase the number of overseas visitors by a third to 40 million by 2020 on the back of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and in particular target the growing Chinese market.

The Olympics had helped make London "one of the most desirable places to visit on the planet", Hunt said. "We must use this extraordinary year to turbo-charge our tourism industry, use this opportunity and run with it to the finish line."

Jeremy Hunt announces major Government push to boost visitor numbers >>

The Caterer Interview - John Penrose >>

By Janet Harmer

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