Minister for hospitality debate after 150,000 sign petition

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Parliament decision: politicians will debate the need for a Minister of Hospitality
Parliament decision: politicians will debate the need for a Minister of Hospitality

Related tags Minister for Hospitality Government Legal Legislation Coronavirus

The UK Government could appoint a minister for hospitality after a widespread campaign garnered near 150,000 signatures, meaning the sector’s demand must now be debated in Parliament.

Politicians have reportedly set a date and time for the debate of Monday 11 January 2021 at 4.30pm, following the success of the #SeatAtTheTable campaign, which was backed by high profile people in the sector including celebrity chef James Martin.

The petition people have signed simply states: “The UK hospitality industry. Responsible for around 3m jobs, generating £130bn in activity, resulting in £38bn in taxation. Yet, unlike the arts or sports, we do not have a dedicated minister.

Create a Minister for Hospitality

“We are asking that a minister for hospitality be created for the current, and successive Governments.”

It said a dedicated minster would liaise with industry representatives and the role would have been of benefit to the Government and industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Government response to the petition read: “Responsibility for the hospitality sector is shared by Ministers in the Departments for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

“The Government recognises the importance of the UK’s hospitality sector, which plays a vital role in supporting local communities up and down the country and the UK economy.

Extremely broad

“The sector is extremely broad, ranging from the arts and entertainment to pubs, cafes and restaurants, and as such responsibility for the sector as a whole is shared by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

“Ministers in both departments have worked closely with business leaders and representative bodies from across the sector throughout the pandemic to ensure that the interests of the hospitality businesses and their employees are fully represented within Government.

“Hospitality sector business leaders were consulted on the Government’s Covid-Secure Guidance for businesses, and Ministerial engagement with the sector has helped to shape the Government’s extensive package of business support measures, which has included the job retention scheme, reduced VAT, rates relief, the commercial rent moratorium, hospitality grants, loan support schemes, the self-employed income support scheme, regulatory easements to support outdoor hospitality and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.”

There is still time to sign the petition

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