Music

Britain’s Music Industry Welcomes New Labour Government: ‘The Real Work Begins Now’

After 14 years, a new political dawn in the United Kingdom as Keir Starmer’s Labour Party storms to victory in the general election. And the end of the Tories’ long reign.

Labour won in a predictable landslide, paving the way for Starmer to become the next prime minister.

The U.K. music industry, through its various support networks and lobby bodies, has welcomed the incoming, center-left government, with a resounding message: let’s get to work.

“Our industry faces serious challenges and needs urgent attention to recover from years of neglect through the cost of living crisis and the pandemic,” comments Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).

The sector must now “rebuild trust with the new government, after years of feeling misunderstood and undervalued, we must work towards changing the narrative around the value of the night time economy, secure stronger representation at all levels, and create a more integrated regulatory system.”

Kill continues, “We must also address tax disparity, reform business rates, protect independent operators, and align VAT with European standards.”

UK Music CEO Tom Kiehl calls on the new leader to use his “resounding mandate for change” to boost jobs, growth and opportunity in the sector.

The nation’s music industry contributes almost £7 billion ($9 billion) annually to the U.K. economy and supports 210,000 jobs, according to the London-based umbrella organization, which represents all sectors of the U.K.’s music industry.

Right now, explains Kiehl, the music business faces “a number of challenges, but also opportunities. A strong relationship between UK Music and the new government will be essential to navigating what the rest of this decade brings.” 

UK Music developed and published a 10-prong pre-election “manifesto” for the next government, which includes objectives to boost music exports, protect music spaces, improve music education and encourage responsible AI use.

“As the collective voice of the music industry, UK Music already has strong links with Sir Keir’s top team,” Kiehl adds. “Our plan is to continue to build on those relationships and work across the political spectrum, including the many newly elected MPs, to deliver real change and further growth for our world-leading sector.” 

According to an BBC forecast published Friday morning (July 5), Labour is set to take 410 seats (out of 650) with an expected majority of 170. For the Conservatives, the result could be their worst in history, with the party predicted to win as few as 129 seats.

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