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What is an All-Party Parliamentary Group?

by Martin Fullard

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events was re-established in November in 2020, with Theresa Villiers MP, Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet, taking on the role of chair.

Villiers took over from James Heappey MP, who was chair for four years, but stood down once he was appointed Minister for the Armed Forces at the end of 2019.

Officers elected to the group include Robert Largan MP, Mark Menzies MP, Robert Seely MP, Owen Thompson MP, Andrew Slaughter MP, Stephen Hammond MP, Rachel Hopkins MP, and Debbie Abrahams MP. They act as vice chairs.

But what does an All-Party Parliamentary Group actually do?

What is an All-Party Parliamentary Group?

All-Party Parliamentary Groups, often abbreviated as ‘APPG’, are informal cross-party groups with no official status within Parliament. They can represent almost anything, but usually they assign themselves to a country, an industry, or a specific part of an industry.

They do not advise or directly influence Government decision-making but can serve to educate MPs who in turn can take this knowledge to Parliament for debate.

APPGs have no formal place in the legislature but are an effective way of bringing together politicians and stakeholders.

They are not to be confused with Parliamentary Select Committees, which are designed to oversee the work of departments and agencies.

Who can join an All-Party Parliamentary Group?

Usually, members of these groups are made up of representatives from the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and many have the right to involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament.

All-Party Parliamentary Groups are made up of politicians from different political parties.

What does an All-Party Parliamentary Group talk about?

Members meet to discuss specific issues or explore wider areas relating to their industry or topic. They sometimes discuss policy relating to a particular area, new developments and future plans.

When does an All-Party Parliamentary Group meet?

All-Party Parliamentary Group’s must hold at least two meetings during the year, one of which must be an annual general meeting or a meeting which involves an election of officers.

An All-Party Parliamentary Group comes to an end when Parliament is dissolved for a general election, but it can be restarted. Sectaries of State and junior ministers do not usually sit on these groups.

How many All-Party Parliamentary Groups are there?

The All-Party Parliamentary Group register is updated every six weeks. As of February 2020, there were 355 groups. In 2015 there were more than 600.

View the register here.

Specifically, what does the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events do?

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events was founded in 2011 and acts as the events industry’s voice in Westminster. However, sometimes members of the events industry might be invited to other All-Party Parliamentary Group meetings, such as business groups.

The current All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events’ aim is to keep the entire events industry on the Parliamentary agenda. This includes representing the entire events community, from conferences and trade shows to festivals and consumer events.

Its formal purpose is to represent the UK events industry in Parliament; to highlight the value of the industry to the UK economy and society; to engage with politicians and industry representatives; and to ensure that the UK remains a competitive and leading destination for major international events.

The serving politicians, listed below, are will often invite trade associations including umbrella body the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), Association of Event Organisers (AEO), Meetings Industry Association (mia) and more to the meetings, where they may give evidence or offer insight. Advisory boards such as the Events Industry Board, Scottish Events Industry Advisory Group and Event Wales Advisory Group are often invited as observers.

  • Theresa Villiers MP (chair)
  • Robert Largan MP
  • Robert Seely MP
  • Owen Thompson MP
  • Andrew Slaughter MP
  • Stephen Hammond MP
  • Rachel Hopkins MP
  • Debbie Abrahams MP
  • Mark Menzies MP

Who handles the administration the of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events?

Brand communications agency davies tanner manages the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events and are the official secretariat. The agency takes notes and offers counsel.

Follow the group on Twitter: @APPGEvents 

Visit the group’s website here.

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