John Penrose MP has lost his job as Tourism and Heritage Minister, as Prime Minister David Cameron pulled away the minister’s seat in the latest round of political musical chairs.
The move to trim the Culture, Media & Sports Department (DCMS) caused even Cameron’s fellow Conservative MP and All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events chairman Nick de Bois MP to express fears of a ‘vacuum’ appearing in the Government’s event industry representation.
Penrose was the first minister to pay an official visit to International Confex this year and said he was “proud” of the work he did as part of the DCMS team.
“The good news is that I’ll be able to fight even harder for our area. I’m looking forward to it hugely,” he added.
De Bois reacted to the news as he hosted a special Britain for Events briefing ‘Events in the Community at the House of Commons last night (5 September). He pledged to work hard to make sure a vacuum did not appear.
The fear is that Penrose’s role will simply be redistributed within a shrinking DCMS. "I’m not convinced a redistribution is the right thing to do," De Bois said.
Business Visits and Events Partnership Chairman Michael Hirst, who is also Campaign Coordinator for Britain for Events, attempted to look on the bright side and told CN: “On the business visits/events front it is good to see Paul Deighton (former LOCOG chief) appointed to drive infrastructure. His Olympic experience will bring a good understanding of our issues,” Hirst said, and welcomed “a good raft of new BIS Ministers to push deregulation and growth strategy. “The new Secretary of State for Transport looks promising for Aviation capacity in the medium term,” Hirst added.
“Andy Grove, Head of the Local Authority Event Organisers Group, is based In her own constituency of Basingstoke, so hopefully she’ll have been influenced by the work being done locally,” he said.
New DCMS Secretary of State Maria Miller was a junior minister in the Department for Work and Pensions and is a wild card replacement for Jeremy Hunt who was promoted to the Health portfolio.
Miller will also have to deal with the Olympic legacy, the final report on the Leveson Inquiry into Phone Hacking and an arts sector suffering from major public-spending cuts.
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6 Sept 12
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