Labour minister channels RuPaul and urges Government to ‘sashay away’

Labour’s Sir Chris Bryant quoted drag queen RuPaul in the Commons, as he urged the Government to “sashay away”.

The shadow culture minister criticised the Government for failing to support creative industries, from the reduction in music students to ballerinas being told to re-train.

Elsewhere, Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said she is pressing the Government to include the Media Bill in the so-called “wash-up” period, which is the final days of a Parliament before dissolution.

Sir Chris Bryant
Labour’s shadow culture minister Sir Chris Bryant criticised the Government (Yui Mok/PA)

In the Commons on Thursday, Sir Chris said: “Two music venues closing every week. British artists prevented from touring in Europe. The UK art market falling from second to third in the world.

“A-level music students down by 45%. Museums and galleries struggling with the cost of living. Ballerinas told to re-train. Theatre and opera touring slashed. An apprenticeship levy that doesn’t work for the creative industry.

“Was this all part of the plan? Or in the words of RuPaul, isn’t it time for this appalling Government to sashay away?”

Ms Frazer said the Government has provided “tax reliefs for every sub-sector of the creative industry”, adding: “We have supported the creative industries at every single level, we have a plan from (the) first day of primary school to the last day of work.”

Lucy Frazer File Photo
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer faced questions in the commons (Victoria Jones/PA)

Elsewhere in Culture, Media and Sport questions, SNP frontbencher Kirsty Blackman said: “Will the Media Bill be part of wash-up? Because a number of organisations including STV have contacted me this morning asking for it to be.”

Ms Frazer replied: “That is certainly what I am pressing for, very grateful for her support to ensure that happens.”

During a question on protecting local journalism earlier in the session, Mark Logan, Conservative MP for Bolton North East, said: “In the spirit of one-upmanship, I’d just like to announce that the Speaker doesn’t read The Financial Times or listen to Radio four, no, he reads the Bolton News and listens to Bolton FM.

“And we were very disappointed at the weekend because we lost to Oxford United.”

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle responded: “For point of clarification, I do read the Chorley Guardian, Lancashire Evening Post and I definitely would still be listening as Peter Kay would say – to Chorley FM coming all over.”

Sir Lindsay was referring to the comedian’s “coming in your ears” saying.