In London: Publishers Say They’re ‘Optimistic’ About Labour’s Victory

In News by Porter Anderson

The Publishers Association enumerates promising appointments for the creative industries just made by the UK’s new Labour government.

Image – Getty iStockphoto: DelPixArt

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Conway: ‘A Strong Basis for Collaboration’
Having made it clear prior to the United Kingdom’s July 4 general election that the Labour Party’s manifesto or platform seemed more supportive of British book publishing’s needs and interests, the Publishers Association in London today (July 8) has issued a list of what it sees as key appointments for the book business under the newly elected Labour government.

Indeed, the first commentary from the association’s CEO Dan Conway on Friday (July 7) as the election results were finalized was a strong gesture of support for the incoming regime, Conway saying in his statement to the news media, “After a seismic night in British politics, we welcome the new government and stand ready to help it deliver its commitments. UK publishing is world-leading, with the creativity, innovation, and passion to drive growth and create opportunities for all.

Dan Conway

“We are optimistic that Labour’s recognition of the importance of the UK’s creative industries and research institutions provides a strong basis for collaboration over the coming years.

“Whether it’s in supporting growth through publishers’ world-beating exports or delivering opportunities for every child through books and reading, publishing can be a key partner to the new government in delivering its priorities. We are keen to build on our existing strong relationships and work with new ministers on a wide range of policy issues, from making sure AI opportunities deliver for everyone to ensuring academic publishers are at the heart of driving research and innovation.”

And in a follow-up, Conway’s team has issued an overview of the government’s key appointments in the Keir Starmer government relative to the publishing industry’s purview.

New UK Government Appointments Flagged by the Publishers Association

Lisa Nandy

Note that the first listed appointment here by the Publishers Association is Lisa Nandy, an author published by HarperCollins.

Key Secretary of State Appointments

  • Lisa Nandy MP as secretary of state for culture, media and sport
  • Peter Kyle MP as secretary of state for science, innovation and technology
  • Jonathan Reynolds MP as secretary of state for business and trade
  • Bridget Phillipson MP as secretary of state for education

Additional Key Appointments

  • Sir Patrick Vallance KCB as a minister of state (minister for science) in the department for science, innovation and technology
  • Right Honorable Jacqui Smith as a minister of state in the department for education

Conway couples his list of pertinent appointments in Labour’s Starmer government with a statement today, saying, “We warmly welcome the appointment of new secretaries of state for culture, media and sport; education; science, innovation and technology; and business and trade.

“We look forward to working with them on the important issues that face the publishing industry including AI, promoting literacy, and access to books, funding research and innovation and ensuring a fair and open market for education resources.

“Together we are confident that we can create a landscape that will allow our world-leading publishing industry to continue to thrive.”

More from Publishing Perspectives on the UK’s Publishers Association is here, more on the United Kingdom’s publishing market is here, and more on industry statistics is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.