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Government to meet with hospitality minister petitioners

Published:  10 February, 2021

Business minister Paul Scully will meet with with petitioners calling for a minister for hospitality, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed.

The meeting was agreed after Chair of the petitions committee, Catherine McKinnell, wrote to Johnson urging him to engage with the hospitality sector after raising the issue at the latest session of the liaison committee.

Welcoming the news, McKinnell said: "While I welcome the prime minister's decision to agree to our call for the government to meet with petitioners and hear their concerns about the need for greater support for the hospitality sector, I hope that the PM himself will consider their request that he creates a minister for hospitality to oversee government delivery for this crucial diverse sector.

"Although the government has provided a range of support to the hospitality industry throughout this pandemic, there are still great challenges ahead and a coordinated approach on this issue is vital at this critical time."

A debate on the petition, which was signed by more than 200,000 people, was held 11 January, where members across the House called for a dedicated minister for the sector.  

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.