OCTOBER 2023: News from MP Thangam Debonnaire

My new role as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

On 4th September, Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour party, offered me the position of Shadow Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which I accepted.

I am excited at the opportunity of working closely with the UK’s talented creative and sports organisations. As a professional musician from a family of musicians and artists, and the vibrant cultural life of the city I represent, I know of the valuable contributions made by all parts of these sectors.

Music, films, fashion and theatre by British artists and institutions are the country’s greatest export. Our sporting events like the Premier League, the Ashes or Wimbledon are watched by millions and our media institutions like the BBC and Channel 4 produce award-winning shows and provide incisive coverage of major global events. The Tourism sector is a huge generator of jobs and helps showcase our culture to the world.

Culture, media, and sport give us so much joy and a feeling of togetherness. They inform us of what is happening around us and play an important role in our great democratic tradition, which I am proud to be a part of. They also make a massive contribution to the taxes which fund our public services.

Under the next Labour government, I see it as my role to value the contributions made by artists to society and the economy. I look forward to supporting organisations in the face of evolving consumer preferences and the transition to net zero. Most of all, I will seek to leverage our world-beating cultural, sports and tourism sectors to grow the UK’s economy, creating more jobs and opportunities across the country.

I couldn’t be more thrilled at the task that lies before me, and I hope to accomplish it with the grace and hard work required of any musician.

A new dental school in Bristol

I was happy to be asked to inaugurate the University of Bristol’s new dental school. My congratulations to the team on this excellent new facility. 

Since last year, I have heard over and over again from people who are unable to see a dentist. A key challenge for NHS dentistry across the country is workforce and I hope Bristol’s expanded school will help address these shortages.

I have also been following up regularly with local NHS leadership about the clinic in St Pauls which recently shut down. Thanks to efforts of local campaigners like Tara Miran and Labour Councillor Amirah Cole, I was pleased to hear that an interested provider has stepped forward and had discussions with the landlord and the NHS towards restoring dental services in St Pauls.