Petition for a Minster of Hospitality

Petition for a Minster of Hospitality

Petition calling for a Minster of Hospitality reaches over 35,000 signatures

A recent petition launched on the UK Government's website has called for a dedicated Minister of Hospitality. The industry has welcomed the idea, with the petition reaching 35,000 signatures by the end of October 2020.

Created by Claire Bosi of Chef & Restaurant magazine, the petition has now seen backing from chefs such as Angela Hartnett and Marcus Wareing as well as groups like The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF).

The petition states:

"The UK hospitality industry. Responsible for around 3m jobs, generating £130bn in activity, resulting in £38bn in taxation. Yet, unlike the Arts or Sports, we do not have a dedicated Minister.

"We are asking that a Minister for Hospitality be created for the current, and successive governments."

This petition follows a challenging year for the hospitality industry after 89% of businesses in the sector have been unable to operate normally due to COVID-19.

What is the petition asking for?

As the 4th biggest employer in the UK, generating over £73 billion each year, the hospitality industry represents a large portion of the UK economy. Bosi's petition asks for the UK Government to recognise the role of hospitality in the country's economy and tourism.

The role would allow for a minister to liaise with industry leaders on controversial areas such as taxation and legislation. Equally, they could raise suggestions on the industry's behalf to policymakers and the chancellor, ensuring they get the support they require.

What would change?

Under the current system, there is no designated minister for the hospitality industry. It loosely falls under the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which is presently the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP. The current Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage is Nigel Huddleston MP. He runs the Tourism Industry Council, which includes representatives from the hospitality industry amongst accommodation, aviation, transport and other businesses.

In asking for a Minister of Hospitality, the representation of the industry would increase in parliament. A shift such as this would see a more appropriate level of government communication and engagement with the sector.

What are the potential benefits?

With a dedicated Hospitality Minister, the industry would have someone to:

  • Represent the industry in the House of Commons
  • Work with unions, federations, and other representative bodies
  • Liaise with the industry on important issues such as new legislation and taxation
  • Champion the success of the industry
  • Ensure the hospitality industry is prepared for the future

To find out more about the petition, or to sign it, head to the UK Government's website.