Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has questioned the Prime Minister on support for arts and culture freelancers. This took place during at PMQs on 23rd October 2020, the transcript of which is below:
Giles Watling MP:
“Does my right hon. Friend agree that, as the UK’s performing arts are a global gold standard that are not only the envy of the world but a vital showcase for UK plc across the world, we should treasure them and look after that industry? We have had the furlough and other job retention schemes, but those who have fallen through the cracks are the freelancers. We must do something to protect the freelancers—the actors, the costumiers, the prop makers and many others. Can we do something to look after those people?”
Prime Minister (Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP)
“That is a very important point. Obviously the job retention scheme has been very effective in keeping people in work, but there are of course people who do not have employment of that kind. That is why we have given £1.57 billion to support the creative, culture and media sectors, including the theatres. We will do whatever we can to support the freelancers who my hon. Friend describes, because they are the backbone of our theatrical world, which, as he knows, is the jewel in the crown of the London cultural economy."