Government to meet with minister for hospitality petitioners

Boris Johnson has confirmed that the Government will meet with the petitioners who campaigned for the introduction of a minister for hospitality.

According to a letter published by the Prime Minister, Paul Scully, the PM’s minister for small business, consumers, and labour markets will “happily” discuss the proposition with Claire Bosi, founder of the Seat at the Table campaign.

Official petitions received over 200,000 signatures, forcing a parliamentary debate on 11 January that ended in MPs voting in support of creating the new role.

However, it was not until Labour MP Catherine McKinell wrote a formal letter to the PM calling for him to engage with the petitioners that any real movement occurred.

McKinell, who is chair of the petitions committee, said: “It is essential there is a focused voice within Government to represent the hospitality sector to ensure its place as a key driver of economic and cultural growth in every community.”

While the Seat at the Table confirmed it was “incredibly pleased” with the PM’s response, Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, told the Evening Standard of the increasing attention that is being paid to the hospitality industry.

She said: “There is a growing recognition of the importance of hospitality both socially and economically.

“The impact of the Covid pandemic on hospitality has also brought home the need to ensure that venues, which are often the focal point of communities, are properly supported by a Government who understands the opportunities and obstacles we face.”

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