Tourism continues to only be a small part time ministerial concern – now under Helen Grant at DCMS
In the recent Coalition reshuffle, there was no full time tourism minister appointed. The travel press is saying travel still appears to be a low priority for the current administration, with the job of tourism minister remaining a part-time role. The last full-time tourism minister was John Penrose, who stepped down from the position in September 2012, without a like-for-like replacement. He took on the role back in May 2010. For the last 12 months, the travel industry has fallen under the workload of tourism and sports minister Hugh Robertson – who is moving to the Foreign Office as part of the reshuffle. He is being replaced by the Conservative MP for Maidstone, Helen Grant , who comes from the Ministry of Justice. Helen Grant will work under Maria Miller, the Secretary of State at DCMS. She has ten areas of responsibility including sport, same sex marriage, Olympic and paralympic legacy, gambling and licencing and national lottery. Only one of her 10 areas is tourism. Perhaps the government does not see attracting in foreign tourists as important as the airlines and airports make out that it is?
[Helen Grant’s responsibilities, one of ten of which is tourism, can be seen at https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state-sport-and-olympics ]
No full-time tourism minister in cabinet reshuffle as travel stays under-represented
By TRAVELMAIL REPORTER (Mail)
8 October 2013
The latest cabinet reshuffle has seen a host of new faces introduced to the government.
But travel still appears to be a low priority for the current administration, with the job of tourism minister remaining a part-time role.
Stepping up: Helen Grant will move to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport as part of the reshuffle
The last full-time tourism minister was John Penrose, who stepped down from the position in September of last year, without a like-for-like replacement being unveiled.
For the last 12 months, the travel industry has fallen under the workload of tourism and sports minister Hugh Robertson – who is moving to the Foreign Office as part of the reshuffle.
His shoes will be filled by the Conservative MP for Maidstone, Helen Grant – who became the first black woman elected as a Tory member of Parliament in 2010, and who will move to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport from the Ministry of Justice.
Grant will work under Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, taking on the role of sports minister – though she will retain her existing position as a minister for equalities, meaning that her time will be divided.
There has so far been no confirmation that she will also take on the departed Robertson’s tourism brief, and the tourism minister’s role seems set to remain a part-time concern.
However, the travel industry has taken hope from another area of the reshuffle.
Sajid Javid, a junior Treasury secretary and the minister responsible for Air Passenger Duty (APD), has been promoted within the Treasury – sparking hopes that there could be a fresh debate about the controversial tax on air travel.
“A new minister responsible for aviation taxes means the government has a chance to look again at its refusal to undertake a proper review of the impacts of APD,” says Stephen D’Alfonso of the travel body ABTA.
PM changes four ‘travel ministers’ but silent on tourism
A government reshuffle has brought four changes to ministers dealing with travel and tourism, including the return to the Department for Transport (DfT) of a long-time opponent of Heathrow expansion.
Liberal Democrat Baroness Kramer replaced rail minister Norman Baker at the DfT. Kramer, former MP for Richmond Park, has campaigned against expanding Heathrow since the early 1990s.
Kramer is joined at the DfT by Conservative Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, who replaces aviation minister Simon Burns.
Goodwill is a eurosceptic former MEP who has served at the Treasury and as a whip in the current government but was shadow transport secretary for three years up to the 2010 election.
Burns, who was responsible for Atol reform and airports, resigned at the weekend but was expected to be replaced.
Tourism and sports minister Hugh Robertson has moved to the Foreign Office and been replaced by Conservative MP for Maidstone Helen Grant – who became the first black woman elected as a Tory MP in 2010.
Grant moves from the Ministry of Justice where she was equalities minister. But she already has an office at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The minister will retain her equalities role. There has been no official confirmation that Grant’s portfolio will include tourism although she has taken over Robertson’s sports and Olympic legacy roles.
Grant is a lawyer specialising in family law and domestic violence. Her replacement of Robertson means the tourism minister’s role will yet again be part time.
In a further change, junior Treasury secretary Sajid Javid – the minister responsible for Air Passenger duty (APD) – was promoted within the Treasury and replaced by Nicky Morgan, Conservative MP for Loughborough.
Morgan is a corporate lawyer who entered Parliament in 2010 and has been a government whip for the past year.
Labour’s shadow cabinet also changed yesterday in a shuffle which saw Wakefield MP Mary Creagh replace Maria Eagle as shadow transport secretary.
Creagh has shadowed the environment secretary since 2010 after being elected in 2005. However, she has experience of the DCMS where she was parliamentary private secretary to Andy Burman in 2008-09.
Abta welcomed the new appointments, arguing “reshuffles don’t just move people, they often shift policies”.
Head of public affairs Stephen D’Alfonso said: “A new minister responsible for aviation taxes means the government has a chance to look again at its refusal to undertake a proper review of the impacts of APD.”
However, the changes affecting travel are at a junior level and Treasury policy on taxation, including APD, will be decided by Chancellor George Osborne.
Back in May 2010
New tourism minister – John Penrose – welcomed
17.5.2010 (TravelMole )
The Tourism Society has welcomed the appointment of John Penrose as tourism minister
in the new coalition government.
The Conservative MP is seen to have an “inherent undestanding” of the importance
of tourism given that his constituency is the resort of Weston-super-Mare.
Penrose was previously shadow minister for business entereprise and regulatory
This means he should “view tourism from a business/economic perspective and be understanding of regulatory reform,” according to the Tourism Society.
The appointment also fulfills the Conservative pledge to appoint a dedicated
John Penrose’s webpage at http://www.johnpenrose.org/
and John Penrose on They Work For You