Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected an invitation to meet with petitioners to discuss the possibility of creating a Minister of Hospitality role in parliament.
In October last year Claire Bosi, Editor, Chef & Restaurant Magazine created a petition to Parliament to host the Minister for Hospitality debate, requiring 100,000 signatures to be considered, the petition reached over 230,000 signatures in the matter was debated in Parliament earlier this week (January 11)
Yesterday (January 13) during the PM’s questions, Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle North, called on the Prime Minister to meet with petitioners calling for a Hospitality Minister, to understand and acknowledge the real challenges they face and the critical need for a proper voice in government.
Speaking directly to the Prime Minister via Zoom, she said: “We have a petition in parliament at the moment, and hospitality is a major employer in this country, not to mention the heart and soul of many communities and they have suffered more than most during this pandemic.
“Given we spent two days in the summer debating whether a scotch egg is a substantial meal or not and dealing with the consequences of the 10pm curfew, would the prime minister meet with petitioners who believe it’s time we had a dedicated minister for hospitality to fully understand the diverse nature of this industry and get things right for this industry through this crisis and beyond?”
However the Prime Minister replied: “She’s right to identify the troubles of the hospitality sector, they have been through a difficult time, but we are doing all we can to support them. Myself, the business secretary and the chancellor regularly meet with people from that sector, and the recent increase in grants was specifically for them, on top of the furlough, CBILS and more.
“Now the best thing for the sector is that we work together to beat the virus with disciplined action. I’m sure that’s the best thing for them.”