September political update

Friday 29 September: A Look Ahead to Party Conferences – Heart of London are attending the Conservative and Labour party conferences over the next fortnight. In attending, we aim to showcase HOLBA’s commitment to engaging with policymakers from across the political spectrum, ensuring our presence and influence in these critical forums.

In addition to the breakfast roundtable that we are hosting in partnership with BusinessLDN, focusing on the importance of the cultural sector to the UK’s competitiveness, we also have scheduled meetings with local, regional and national politicians, as well as influential stakeholders from the likes of TfL and UK Hospitality.

These interactions will provide us with invaluable opportunities to push the key priorities of our members and contribute to policy discussions that will shape the West End and London’s future direction.

Political Activity

● Following the Labour reshuffle, we have reached out to eight shadow ministers, including Thangam Debbonaire (Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport), Chris Bryant (Shadow Minister for Culture), Darren Jones (Chief Secretary to the Treasury), Tan Dhesi (Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury), Angela Rayner (Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities), and Liz Kendall (Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions), inviting them to a meeting with HOLBA to discuss their relevant briefs.
● Chris Bryant has already responded and a meeting will be scheduled with him for November
● On Friday 15 September we had a productive meeting with Pierre Andrews, Special Adviser to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS). In the meeting, he outlined the priorities of Secretary of State Michelle Donelan and we discussed the potential for a future visit for the Secretary of State to in the Heart of London area.

Recent Media Coverage

● 15/09/2023 – Government and Labour reject reinstating tax-free shopping – Chartered Institute of Taxation
● 12/09/2023 – Government joins forces with industry to create next generation of hospitality leaders – Institute of Licensing
● 31/08/2023 – UK Considers New Short-Term Work Visa for EU Workers – Work Permit

Looking Ahead
Over the next month, we will be preparing for the King’s Speech on 7 November and the Autumn Statement on 22 November. It has been reported that the Transport Bill will be introduced during the King’s Speech, which will include the regulation of pedicabs.

HOLBA will be submitting representation for the Autumn Statement.

Our future political engagement efforts encompass a diverse range of individuals, including:
● Susan Hall AM, Conservative candidate for Mayor of London, will visit us in late October. We are designing a visit to focus on our key policy issues
● Sir Chris Bryant MP: Shadow Minister responsible for Creative Industries and Digital
● Tony Devenish AM: Member of the London Assembly
● Sir Michael Ellis: Conservative MP representing Northampton North

September political update