The All Party Parliamentary Writers Group's summer party has been cancelled because of the general election.
The event was due to take place on the 23rd May on the terrace at the Palace of Westminster but the general election on 8th June means that the politicians, including Chair Pete Wishart MP, will be away canvassing. Guests were told on Monday (15th May) that the group had been unable to rearrange the party for later in the summer.
Barbara Hayes, who has been an administrator for the APPG since it began 10 years ago, said the event had been cancelled for "pragmatic" reasons because the anticipated information-sharing between politicians and authors could not take place.
Hayes, also deputy chief executive of the ALCS, told The Bookseller: "We use these events to put writers and politicans so politicians can hear the issues that writers care about. So the people the writers want to influence won't be around. The whole point is to raise issues with politicians. Cancelling the event was a pragmatic decision because the people won't be available. Normally, with receptions we'll discuss what the topic for the event will be and will ask appropriate speakers to focus on that - it's information-sharing over a nice venue. Writers do have a lot of support in parliament and a lot of MPs and the House of Lords are writers themselves."
She added: "We have two receptions per year. This summer one which has been cancelled because the MPs and Lords we seek to influence will be busy canvassing for the election was to have been a celebration of PLR and its extension in the Digital Economy Bill (now an Act)."
The group aims to protect and promote authors' rights and contains around 60 MPs and Lords.
The winter reception includes the Educational Writers’ Award, sponsored by ALCS and administered by the Society of Authors, and the Ruth Rendell Award for Literacy (Rendell was secretary of the group), sponsored by ALCS and administered by the National Literacy Trust.