Labour rolls out big guns for creative splash at ITV

Angela Rayner MP

The Labour Party has launched a network for creative industries in the North that will help guide policy and priorities for government.

Deputy Leader Angela Rayner, speaking at ITV Studios in Trafford Park, Manchester last night, said it wasn’t just a talking shop but a genuine forum for ideas to boost one of the major planks of the UK economy: “A network that won’t just back our creative industries, but boost them,” she said.

Also speaking to welcome guests last night (May 25) was Carolyn McCall, chief executive of ITV and compere for the evening Sair Khan, a Coronation Street actor.

Lucy Powell MP, Labour’s Shadow Culture secretary also spoke.

Among the 100 plus attendees were: producer Nicola Shindler from ITV Productions, and the founder of multi-award winning Red Productions; Warehouse Project owner Sasha Lord; Danny Brocklehurst writer of Brassic; Co-operative UK chief executive Rose Marley, creator of the Beyond the Music festival this year;’s food writer Thom Hetherington; and Tom Gray, music industry campaigner and founding member of the rock band Gomez.

The Labour Creatives Network has been designed to bring together artists who share Labour values, aiming to create a community that will help the party develop its policies and manifesto. 

In a message to the arts world, Labour shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell said: “A Labour government is coming and we will back Britain’s creative industries to the hilt.”

“The creative industries are worth £178 billion worth of growth every year, £50 billion worth of exports, two million jobs, 750,000 businesses.”

Powell also promised to tackle the effects of Brexit on artistic touring by negotiating an EU-wide cultural touring agreement as well as a visa waiver for touring artists, and digital would be reinstated as a responsibility for the DCMS.

Shadow Business Secretary and Stalybridge & Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds was also there and said: “It was particularly nice to see my constituents Dave Moutrey from HOME and Liz O’Neill from Z Arts there. We should absolutely relish and cherish the incredible creative talent in the North West.”