House of Commons Debate
The Question on the Order Paper was ‘Would the House Consider the E Petitions for Support for the Events Industry’? Teresa Villiers MP (see on BBC iPlayer).
- On 30 June and 1 July at last festivals are mentioned in the House of Commons. A Tory MP believed that the West End theatres in London should open as soon as possible. The Prime Minister supported his idea, but offered no date whilst government carried on fighting COVID.
- The debate then went to the Petitions Debate. Tory MP Stephen Hammond of Wimbledon asked for arts, theatre, festivals to be supported to keep the arts and culture of the UK alive.
30 June 2020.
- There was one other reference to self-employed followed by the Green Party MP from Brighton and Hove asking for support for arts and creative industries and quoted the amount of support and cash handed out by the German government to their creative industries. She said “We need a cultural package to save this part of industry.”
- This was followed by Faye Jones MP for Brecon, Wales. She referred to the Hay Literature Festival that had cancelled and gone online, the Green Man Festival, the cancellation of which would cause a devastating effect on the local economy, and several others and she finished with reference to the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show, which is the largest in the country, another cancellation.
- On the same day, the Guardian published an article and a survey asking arts activists to tell them what effect COVID had actually had on their work.
- The association that beings together all trade associations then published a survey to see how COVID had affected the actual associations. AFO completed this survey and asked for a copy of the results.
- 1 July during PMQ’s Keir Starmer asked the Prime Minister to extend the furlough scheme. The Prime Minister ducked the question and avoided any sensible answer. On BBC Radio 5 Live, (the Emma Barnett show) she discussed amongst the panel the Entertainment Road Map. MPs Anthony Brown and Pat McFadden were present, again festivals were discussed at length.