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Margaret Hodge takes on role of tourism minister

03 July 2007 by
Margaret Hodge takes on role of tourism minister

The reshuffle in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) was completed today, with Margaret Hodge taking on the role of tourism minister and Gerry Sutcliffe given responsibility for licensing.

Before coming to DCMS, now headed up by former tourism minister James Purnell, Margaret Hodge was minister for industry and the regions at the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI).

Sutcliffe, a former president of National Pubwatch, was previously at the Ministry of Justice and prior to that employment minister at the DTI for three years. He had to resign as Pubwatch's president after he joined the DTI in 2003.

Tourism and licensing were previously both under the remit of Shaun Woodward, who was promoted to Northern Ireland secretary in last week's cabinet reshuffle.

Grant Hearn, chief executive of budget hotel chain Travelodge, called on Hodge to "grasp the economic importance" of tourism.

"It is essential the new government team responsible for tourism acts quickly and boldly to promote investment, skills development and a world class visitor product," he said.

"Margaret Hodge's time as industry minister encourages me to believe that tourism will now be regarded by this government as an economic rather than cultural activity. I look forward to hearing her vision for tourism under Gordon Brown."

James Purnell named culture secretary in Gordon Brown reshuffle >>

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By Daniel Thomas

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