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Prime minister urged to meet with minister for hospitality campaigners

22 January 2021 by
Prime minister urged to meet with minister for hospitality campaigners

Labour MP Catherine McKinnell has written to the prime minister urging him to meet with the team behind the minister for hospitality campaign.

A petition on the issue was started by Claire Bosi from Chef & Restaurant magazine last year and is backed by high-profile industry figures such as Robin Hutson.

It has since received more than 208,000 signatures and on 11 January McKinnell chaired a Parliamentary debate on the creation of a dedicated minister for the sector. A cross-party group of MPs was broadly in favour of the decision, but only Boris Johnson has the power to create a new ministerial role.

Now McKinnell has written to the prime minister calling for further action.

She said: "Although the government has provided a range of support to the hospitality industry throughout this pandemic, it is clear that there are still many great challenges that lie ahead as the country begins to recover. A co-ordinated approach on this issue is vital.

"The hospitality industry has been particularly vulnerable during the pandemic, and although great efforts have been made to adapt quickly, thousands of businesses have been left struggling and unclear about what lies ahead in the coming months.

"It is crucial that there is a strong voice within government to represent the diverse interests of those who own businesses and work within the hospitality sector to prevent further closures and losses of jobs.

"The prime minister is the only person in government with the authority to create this position, and I urge him and his ministerial colleagues to make time to meet with the petitioners to listen to their concerns."

Responsibility for the hospitality sector is currently split between two ministers at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), but it is believed the two are looking to work closer together to address the needs of the sector following the debate.

A question on the issue is due to be asked in the House of Lords on 3 February.

Image: Shutterstock

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