Dr Julian Lewis [Virtual]: May I welcome the Leader of the House’s robust answer to the previous question [wanting even more extreme lockdowns]? Mine is on a different subject. Monday’s non-partisan debate in Westminster Hall referred to the need for a dedicated Minister with status in both main Departments that deal with the hospitality sector – the third largest in our economy. In his well-received response, the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, my hon. Friend the Member for Sutton and Cheam (Paul Scully), was naturally rather reticent about restructuring the Government to reflect such an enhanced role for himself. May we therefore have a statement from the Cabinet Office Minister on the need for a dedicated and upgraded Minister for the hospitality sector and the promotion of its survival and recovery?
[The Leader of the House of Commons (Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg): My right hon. Friend noted that the Minister responding was diffident about the reorganisation of Government. He may not be surprised if I am diffident too in this regard, because that is a right that belongs to the Prime Minister. I would like to commend the debate on Monday, because the Government fully recognise the importance of the UK hospitality sector, which makes a vital contribution to the UK economy. I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for raising this, because in my own constituency I have had certain correspondence and great concern from a wedding services company that has found maintaining its livelihood during this pandemic so exceptionally difficult.
Ministers in both the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have worked closely with business leaders across the hospitality sector throughout the pandemic to ensure that their interests are represented. That engagement has helped to form the Government’s comprehensive package of support, including measures such as the reduction in VAT, the job retention scheme, the hospitality grant, and indeed the eat out to help out scheme. I will obviously pass this matter on to the relevant Secretaries of State, but my right hon. Friend might want to write to the Prime Minister directly with his suggestions for the reorganisation of Government.]