Creative Industries Federation had 'no choice' but to pull Corbyn event

Creative Industries Federation had 'no choice' but to pull Corbyn event

The Creative Industries Federation has cancelled its planned general election event in Hull with Jeremy Corbyn today (Monday 22nd May), because, it says, Labour refused to give up as much time as other parties to questions from the floor. 

The event, hosted by the Federation, was due to be attended by both Labour's leader Corbyn and deputy leader Tom Watson, was part of a series in which the four largest political parties could set out their stall on the creative industries, the arts and cultural education. After a speech from a chosen party representative, the format was then meant to include questions.

The series began in London last Wednesday (17th May) with Digital and Cultural Minister Matt Hancock for the Conservatives. His appearance included nearly one hour of taking questions on Brexit, the industrial strategy, education in schools, skills, intellectual property and the role of digital, among others.

But despite its appeals, the Federation said Labour wouldn't commit to "a similar" length of time for scrutiny from its members, forcing it to pull the event altogether.

A spokesperson said: "As Labour informed us that they were no longer able to devote a similar amount of time to questioning as the other parties have agreed to, we invited them to reconsider. When we could not agree, we had no choice but to pull out of the event.

"The Federation - the national organisation for all the UK's creative industries, cultural education and arts - has a track record for independence and fearlessness. We are, however, non-partisan. We cannot provide a backdrop for campaign events which do not offer the opportunity for proper scrutiny.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused to those planning to attend."

Labour still plans to go ahead with the event today. Those wishing to attend are urged to contact the party directly. 

The Federation's events with the Liberal Democrats next Tuesday and the SNP next Friday will go ahead as planned.