26 June 2019
The Society of Authors has written to the two candidates to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, urging them to support authors and the wider creative industries.
At the start of the Tory leadership contest, when ten candidates remained in the race, research from the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) found that only four had mentioned the phrase ‘creative industries’ more than once in the House of Commons. This was despite the fact that three of those candidates (Jeremy Hunt, Matt Hancock and Sajid Javid) had previously held the position of Culture Secretary.
(PEC) found that Boris Johnson has never used the phrase ‘creative industries’ while speaking in Parliament, although on one occasion he referred to the strength of the UK’s TV industry exports. Jeremy Hunt, who was Culture Secretary from 2010 to 2012, has the used the phrase ‘creative industries’ in the House of Commons eight times since becoming an MP.
The SoA is concerned that the future of the UK’s cultural sector is not being given the consideration it deserves from the candidates competing to become the next Prime Minister. We have therefore written to both candidates urging them to set out their plans to support the creative industries should they become Prime Minister.
We have also invited Boris Johnson – a published author – to join the Society of Authors as a member.
Nicola Solomon, Chief Executive of the Society of Authors, said:
“The Tory leadership race is splashed all over the news every day, and yet we have heard nothing from either candidate about their plans to support authors, culture and creativity.
“The creative industries generate £102 billion a year for the UK economy and act as an unrivalled source of soft power across the world. We have written to Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson asking them to explain how they intend to support this vital sector should they become Prime Minister and we hope to hear about their plans in the weeks ahead.
“Given that Boris Johnson is a published author we hope that he in particular will demonstrate support for the sector. We have invited him to join the SoA as a member and we look forward to receiving his application form.”