He’s only been in the job a few days, following the resignation of Maria Miller, but Culture Secretary Sajid Javid is already attracting the ire of many in the entertainment industry after it was revealed he expressed support for Britain’s secondary ticketing market three years ago while still a backbench MP.
Mr Javid told the Commons in January 2011:
“Ticket resellers act like classic entrepreneurs, because they fill a gap in the market that they have identified. They provide a service that can help people who did not obtain a supply of tickets in the original sale to purchase them for sporting and cultural events. As long as those tickets have been acquired genuinely and lawfully, it is an honest transaction, and there should be no Government restriction on someone’s ability to sell them.”
This quote has been seized upon by events, entertainment and sports groups as a sign Mr Javid is a poor choice for Culture Secretary. The secondary ticketing market is estimated to be worth £1 billion in the UK, and MPs are in the process of finalising a bill to curtail ticket touts. As The Independent points out, tickets for Kate Bush’s upcoming sold-out concert series are selling for up to £2,500 from touts.
The Footballers Supporters Association, Concert Promoters Association, Royal Opera House and the Arts Council England have all issued comments expressing concern about the new Culture Secretary’s views, and fellow Conservative MP Mike Weatherly said he is taking it upon himself to “re-educate” Mr Javid on the issue.
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