The hospitality industry has thrown its weight behind a campaign calling on the government to create a dedicated minister for hospitality.
Chefs including Tom Kerridge, Marcus Wareing and Angela Hartnett have lent their support to an online petition, which has more than 17,000 signatures.
The campaign argues that the sector deserves a dedicated minister to liaise with industry representatives and government.
The petition states: "Responsible for around three million jobs, generating £130b in activity, resulting in £38bn in taxation. Yet, unlike the arts or sports, we [in the hospitality industry] do not have a dedicated minister.
"We are asking that a minister for hospitality be created for the current, and successive governments.
"As the UK seeks to encourage investment and tourism back to the UK in coming years, the vision that UK hospitality industry portrays of the UK is excellence, innovation, inspiration.
"We need a minister who can listen to concerns on taxation and legislation and bring forward suggestions to the chancellor and policy makers on our behalf."
Hospitality is the third largest private sector employer in the UK, and has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
There have long been calls for a dedicated minister to represent the sector, which was exacerbated following the Brexit vote.
To sign the petition, click here.