Under the Performers’ Alliance All-Party Parliamentary Group banner, the Musicians’ Union, Equity and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain held its annual Christmas reception/party in the Strangers’ Dining Room at the House of Commons this evening. MU members Anna Neale, Juliet Kelly and Sharleen Linton joined a packed room also containing MU Executive Members Kathy Dyson, Rick Finlay, Alex Gascoine, Dave Lee and Andi Hopgood, comedian Andy Parson, actors Stephen Tompkinson and Ian Hart, plus Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, John Whittingdale, and many other arts-orientated MPs and Peers. Speeches by the Group’s Chair Kerry McCarthy MP, Eastenders’s actress Lindsey Coulson and Ed Vaizey, Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, highlighted the reasons for the event. Namely, the importance of the BBC, theatre, diversity in the media and grassroots live music venues. My thanks also go to Equity for hosting the subsequent drinks party in the basement of the Red Lion in Whitehall.
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