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Date set for minister of hospitality debate

The hospitality industry’s call to create a minister for hospitality will be debated in Parliament next month.

Politicians have scheduled a date of 11th January 2021 after a petition asking for the sector to have representation at a government level surpassed the 100,000 needed for a formal debate.

Launched in October by Claire Bosi from the Chef & Restaurant magazine, the petition reached 20,000 signatures last month, prompting a response from government, saying: “Responsibility for the hospitality sector is shared by Ministers in the Departments for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.”

Now signatures sit at over 154,000 with support from operators across the industry including restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes and fast food outlets.

The petition argues that unlike the arts or sports, hospitality does not have a dedicated minister. This is despite the UK industry being responsible for around 3 million jobs, generating £130bn in activity and resulting in £38bn in taxation.

It states that such a minister would have been beneficial to government and industry during the pandemic, adding: “We need a minister who can listen to concerns on taxation and legislation and bring forward suggestions to the chancellor and policy makers on our behalf.”

The debate will be available to view online on the UK Parliament YouTube channel.

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