SoA urges Johnson and Hunt to support authors

SoA urges Johnson and Hunt to support authors

The Society of Authors is urging prime ministerial hopefuls Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to support authors and the wider creative industries. 

In letters to the Tory leader hopefuls, the SoA asks both men to set out their plans to support the creative industries should they become prime minister.

The SoA has also invited Johnson, who is a published author, to join the trade union as a member. The SoA asked former culture secretary Hunt "commit to supporting authors and the wider cultural sector".

SoA c.e.o. Nicola Solomon said: “The Tory leadership race is splashed all over the news every day, and yet we have heard nothing from either candidate about their plans to support authors, culture and creativity.”

“The creative industries generate £102 billion a year for the UK economy and act as an unrivalled source of soft power across the world. We have written to Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson asking them to explain how they intend to support this vital sector should they become prime minister and we hope to hear about their plans in the weeks ahead.”

“Given that Boris Johnson is a published author we hope that he in particular will demonstrate support for the sector. We have invited him to join the SoA as a member and we look forward to receiving his application form.”

At the start of the Tory leadership contest, when ten candidates remained in the race, research from the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) found that only four had mentioned the phrase ‘creative industries’ more than once in the House of Commons. Three of those candidates (Jeremy Hunt, Matt Hancock and Sajid Javid) had previously held the position of Culture Secretary.

The Tory Party's 160,000 members will vote to choose the winner in the coming weeks, with a series of hustings across the nation planned, which will see Hunt and Johnson take part in a head-to-head debate in front of Tory activists. Votes will be counted on Monday 22nd July.