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Minister wants to ‘champion fashion’

The UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) has a new advocate in recently reappointed minister for culture and tourism Lady Hodge, who has pledged to back the body in its fight to win improved support for UK suppliers.

UKFT chairman Peter Lucas and UKFT director general John Wilson called a meeting with Hodge, who told the pair she wanted to be “the champion for the sector”.

Hodge’s enthusiasm has been welcomed by the UKFT as it fights to keep ongoing issues facing the supply community high on the Government agenda including the withdrawal of credit insurance, funding for Skillfast-UK, the Sector Skills Council for fashion and textiles, and the expected repercussions of the hike in VAT to 17.5%.

Wilson said: “It was a very positive meeting. She said she would try to make sure that the ministers hear our case and that she would make sure information comes back to us. She understood the message we were putting forward and we’ve got somebody who wants to talk to us, which is the important thing.”

Drapers and the UKFT launched a credit insurance campaign in March, demanding that the Government helps to insure domestic orders.

The UKFT said the issue was still key for members and the industry as a whole. “We spoke [to Hodge] about the wider link issues of credit insurance and also about how the banks aren’t lending money,” added Wilson.

Hodge requested that the UKFT forward information on the issues facing UK suppliers to her, including details of the campaign.

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