Oral Answers to Questions Debate

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Department: Leader of the House

Oral Answers to Questions

Nigel Huddleston Excerpts
Thursday 21st April 2016

(5 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Leader of the House
John Whittingdale Portrait Mr Whittingdale
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I agree that this is a very important matter, which is why the Government invest more than £5 million per annum in UK Anti-Doping; and by the end of this Parliament that sum will have gone up to £5.4 million. National governing bodies of sport are doing quite a lot. For instance, I visited the British Horseracing Authority recently to hear about the work it has been doing to ensure that its sport remains clean. Other sports are also investing in this area. Of course, there is more that we can do, and I certainly join the hon. Gentleman in urging the national governing bodies of all our sports to give the issue the serious attention it deserves and to invest more if required.

Nigel Huddleston Portrait Nigel Huddleston (Mid Worcestershire) (Con)
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8. What steps his Department is taking to support (a) restaurants, bars and live music venues and (b) other night-time industries. (904605)

Lord Vaizey of Didcot Portrait The Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy (Mr Edward Vaizey)
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I was delighted last month to work with my hon. Friend the planning Minister and the Music Venue Trust to get planning regulations changed so that we can protect our music venues. It is very important that we recognise the huge economic contribution they make to the night-time economy and that we take action where required.

Nigel Huddleston Portrait Nigel Huddleston
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According to figures recently released by the industry body, the Night Time Industries Association, the UK’s restaurants, bars, pubs and music venues employ 1.3 million people and serve millions of Britons and tourists every year. Will the Minister join me in recognising the important role played by this sector, which contributes £66 billion to our economy each year?

Lord Vaizey of Didcot Portrait Mr Vaizey
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Yes, I will. Its contribution is not only economic, but cultural. In the light of the visit of the President of Indonesia this week, I note that Indonesia counts food and restaurants as part of its creative industries. I think that that is something we should consider very seriously.

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David Evennett Portrait Mr Evennett
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My hon. Friend makes a very powerful point, with which I agree. Yes, the recent British food fortnight has been a tremendous success. I wholeheartedly join him in congratulating the people in his constituency on what they have done. This year is the great campaigns year for Great British Food, during which we are highlighting our really great British food and drink, and showing the world that we are a great food nation.

John Bercow Portrait Mr Speaker
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No, no. May I say to the hon. Gentleman that he consumed his dish with question 8 and cannot have a second helping now? He can always have a go during topical questions, but it is one question per segment of Question Time. That is a very useful lesson for new Members to learn. We are extremely grateful to him.

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John Whittingdale Portrait Mr Whittingdale
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This is an important matter. It is already a requirement on all gambling licence holders to make an annual financial contribution to one or more organisations that perform research into the prevention and treatment of gambling-related harm. The vast majority choose to make that contribution to the Responsible Gambling Trust, which raised £6.5 million from the British-based gambling industry in 2014-15. I entirely agree that we need research into this matter, and we must take decisions based on the evidence.

Nigel Huddleston Portrait Nigel Huddleston (Mid Worcestershire) (Con)
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As always, I appreciate your patience and guidance, Mr Speaker. On the occasion of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday, will the Minister join me in acknowledging the Queen’s vital contribution to the UK tourism industry?

David Evennett Portrait Mr Evennett
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I would be delighted to add my congratulations to Her Majesty on her birthday, and I commend the tremendous service that she has given to the country in so many fields, including tourism.