Prime minister Boris Johnson has rebuffed a request to meet with petitioners who are calling for a dedicated minister for hospitality role in parliament.
Labour MP for Newcastle North Catherine McKinnell called on the prime minister yesterday to meet with petitioners "to fully understand the diverse nature of this sector and get things right for this industry through this crisis and beyond".
Johnson responded: "You're right to identify the particular troubles of the hospitality sector, they've been through a very, very difficult time. We're doing everything we can to support them. And the chancellor, the business secretary and I meet regularly with that representatives of sector. We've given them all the grants, the recent increase in grants, the recent £3,000 grants specifically for the hospitality sector, on top of the CBILS and the bounceback loans, the furlough scheme and many, many other forms of support.
"But the best thing for the hospitality sector is really that we work together to defeat the virus, in a way that I'm absolutely certain we can, with disciplined action and the vaccine rollout and get them back on their feet, and I'm sure that's the best thing for them."
McKinnell said she would follow up the request with a letter, adding that "it is in his government's interest so they can get things right for this vital sector".
The petition was debated in parliament on Monday and reflected cross-party support for the sector as well as the petition itself.
According to petition champion, Pig hotelier Robin Hutson, a question regarding the progress of the petition is set to be asked in the House of Lords on 3 February.