Labour would put culture secretary on Brexit cabinet committee

Labour has said it would prioritise the needs of the creative industries if it wins next month's general election, after launching its culture manifesto.

Jeremy Corbyn, right, the Labour party leader
Jeremy Corbyn, right, the Labour party leader

The document, A Creative Future for All, states: "Labour understands the serious concerns that the creative industries have about Brexit."

But it pledges that the party will put the sector at the heart of its negotiations: "We will get the right deal on issues like intellectual property, customs, access to investment, regulation, workforce and data protection to ensure our creative industries aren’t shackled by Brexit."

Labour would also include the secretary of state for culture, media and sport on the Brexit cabinet committee – something it said set it apart from the Conservatives.

The manifesto was launched in Hull yesterday by Jeremy Corbyn and his deputy leader, Tom Watson, who is also shadow secretary for culture, media and sport. In the seemingly unlikely event that Labour forms the next government, Watson could take over from Karen Bradley as the top politician in the department.

The launch event was due to be hosted by the Creative Industries Federation, who hosted an event in London last week with Conservative culture minister Matt Hancock. But the Federation pulled out, saying that Labour would not commit to answering questions from arts and culture industry representatives, as Hancock had.

The Federation's chief executive John Kampfner welcomed the manifesto, saying: "We are particularly pleased to see that Federation ideas included in our own manifesto and government industrial strategy consultation response have been adopted.

"These include a creative careers campaign, the introduction of creative enterprise zones, a pledge to put creativity back at the heart of the curriculum and a review of the EBacc performance measure.

"But we are concerned that neither Labour nor the Conservatives are acknowledging quite how enormous the impact of Brexit will be on the creative industries, which are the fastest growing sector of the UK economy.

"Apart from challenges such as intellectual property rights and regulation, there is a need for an international workforce. None of the political parties has explained in any detail the immigration process and visa system that will enable the UK to continue to access the talent it needs."

Richard Lindsay, legal and public affairs director at the IPA, said the focus on the creative industries from all three main parties was "encouraging".

But he added: "Labour has today made a bold pledge towards a new cultural capital fund and support for arts education through an arts pupil premium.

"But these welcome proposals need to be set against the promise by Labour - like the Liberal Democrats - to introduce further restrictions on food and drink advertising which the IPA believes are unnecessary."

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