Comment from Michael Hirst, Chair of the Business Visits & Events Partnership, on the aftermath of the cabinet reshuffle and what it means for the UK Events Industry:
"We're obviously sorry to see John Penrose leave DCMS as Minister of Tourism & Heritage. Having worked closely with John over the years we have seen him become a big fan of the UK events industry and a proactive advocate. John, working closely with Jeremy Hunt at the DCMS have set the bar high, however we are equally confident that the new Ministers will continue the good work that has been done to date.
"Hugh Robertson now has the dual role of Minister for Sport, The Olympic Legacy and Tourism, a positive move in understanding the role tourism will play in completing the Olympic legacy, but also a massive endorsement of the role large scale events play in driving tourism and social benefit. Hugh will report to Maria Miller at DCMS, who fills Jeremy Hunts position and who again should be seen as a positive sign for the industry. It is within her home constituency of Basingstoke that we have seen such positive support for events at a local level and also where our good friend Andy Grove, Chair of the Local Authority Event Organisers Group, is based. Finally the inclusion of Lord Coe into a shared responsibility with the GREAT programme, where this industry has seen success in the creation of the 'Events are GREAT Britain' creative, and the appointment of Paul Deighton, CEO of LOCOG, moving into the Treasury to deliver infrastructure projects, should again be seen as a positive for the industry given their collective efforts in delivering the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.
"It is a fact of government that MP's move on into new positions and by and large we should see this as a positive; it means our message can be spread to new parts of government along with those Ministers and that sympathetic supporters can represent our industry in new places. Both the Business Visits & Events Partnership and our industry's promotional campaign Britain for Events will be looking to speak to these new Ministers as soon as possible and once again look to gain further support for this industry."