Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Minister of hospitality petition exceeds 200,000 signatures ahead of parliamentary debate today

Published:  11 January, 2021

The ‘Seat at the Table’ petition, which is calling for Boris Johnson to appoint a hospitality minister, has received over 200,000 signatures.

The rise in signatures comes as parliament gears up to debate the issue this afternoon at 4.30pm following the petition exceeding its target of 100,000 signatures in mid-December, meaning parliament had to consider the topic for debate.

Spearheaded by leading chefs, including Angela Hartnett, Tom Kerridge and Jason Atherton and backed by UK Hospitality (UKH), the online campaign was launched by hotelier Robin Hutson in early December. 

Unlike other leading industries such as manufacturing, retail and aviation, hospitality does not have a dedicated minister, with representation in parliament currently split between two government departments – the department for business, energy and industrial strategy and the department for digital, culture, media and sport.

“I’ve long held the view that the hospitality sector requires really focused representation in government. This is about the future of our industry and the campaign and petition showcases the strength of feeling across the country on this issue. Hospitality is a sector that deserves a seat at the top table,” said Hutson.

A hospitality minister would “ensure the needs of our sector are heard loud and clear in government", added UKH CEO Kate Nicholls.

“When the country emerges from the pandemic, hospitality businesses will be pivotal in restoring a sense of normality, by providing experiences for a nation that has sacrificed much during the pandemic. If adequately supported, hospitality can play a vital and significant role in driving economic recovery across the UK, as it did following the 2008 financial crisis.” 

Latest industry figures suggest more than 600,000 jobs have been lost in hospitality as a result of the pandemic. Before Covid-19, over three million people worked in hospitality, which pays more than £40bn in tax each year.