Chair of the Petitions Committee, Catherine McKinnell MP, has written to the Boris Johnson urging him to engage with the hospitality sector directly on the issue of creating a Minister of Hospitality in parliament.
The Petitions Committee, comprising 11 backbench Members of Parliament from Government and Opposition parties, has written a letter to the Prime Minister, after more than 208,000 people signed the petition Create a Minister for Hospitality in the UK Government.
The petition resulted in a debate in parliament on January 11, where McKinnell shone as a surprise champion for the hospitality sector.
Now in the letter, the Committee highlights that hospitality is one of the few industries which exists in all parts of the country, covering the arts, culture and tourism. It notes that the sector will play a crucial role in the recovery from the Covid-19 recession, particularly in providing jobs for young people.
Although the letter recognises that there is gratitude for the support the Government has already given through measures such as the Job Retention Scheme, it highlights the lack of a long-term strategy for the hospitality industry and urges the Government develop a more coordinated approach to the hospitality industry.
Chair of the Petitions Committee, Catherine McKinnell MP said: “The hospitality industry has been particularly vulnerable during the pandemic, and although great efforts have been made to adapt quickly, thousands of businesses have been left struggling and unclear about what lies ahead in the coming months.
“It is crucial that there is a strong voice within Government to represent the diverse interests of those who own businesses and work within the hospitality sector to prevent further closures and losses of jobs.
“The Prime Minister is the only person in Government with the authority to create this position, and I urge him and his Ministerial colleagues to make time to meet with the petitioners to listen to their concerns.”