Events industry lobby group faces axe

The future of the events industry’s voice in Parliament is in doubt after an MP ruled out involvement in taking a lobby group forward.

Steve Brine, MP for Winchester, has said he is too busy with his new role as principal private secretary to the secretary of state for health to take up the reins of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the UK Events Industry.

Mr Brine was treasurer of the group in the last parliament.

Nick de Bois, former chair of the group, lost his Enfield North seat at the last general election.

Under new rules for All Party Groups, set out by the House of Commons Standards Committee, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the event industry will be wound up unless it holds an AGM and appoints members by 7 July.

Mr Brine told CN he would not get involved.

He said: “I do not run the group which no longer exists as far as I am aware. I am now at the DoH so very much otherwise occupied.”

A spokesman for the Business Visits and Events partnership said the BVEP hopes the APPG for Events will continue with new members joining it.

He said: “The BVEP believes more needs to be done by the industry, outside of any APPG, to foster greater connections between the industry and parliamentarians.

“Prior to the general election a letter was prepared so that industry companies and bodies could communicate the industry’s manifesto directly with MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates. It is hoped, through the leading industry organisations, to continue to develop direct relationships with MPs who have constituency interests where event companies, venues and events are located. This will help immensely in advocating the industry’s issues to individual MPs whose constituents are most affected by specific policies.

“The over-riding objective of the BVEP remains focused on getting the Events Strategy, which was published by the last government, implemented by the present government. This is unaffected by whether an APPG is in existence or not.”

Michael Hirst, chairman of the BVEP, is meeting Tracey Crouch, Minister for Tourism and Sport, in two weeks time, as part of a Tourism Alliance delegation.

He told CN that the minister will be appraised of key priorities for the tourism industry, as identified by Tourism Alliance members of which BVEP is one.

He said: “The request to implement the Event Strategy has already been submitted to the minister. Her reply indicated her wish to discuss the next steps towards this aim. It is hoped to obtain confirmation at the meeting with the minister that this remains her intention.”

 

John Keenan

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John Keenan

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