PM urged to back hospitality sector with COVID Recovery Visa

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran called on the Prime Minister to back the struggling hospitality sector at PMQs today by introducing a COVID Recovery Visa.

The Oxford West and Abingdon MP raised the case of Kevin, a hotel manager in her constituency, who told her that even when the country fully opens up, his hotel “won’t be able to operate at full capacity due to chronic staff shortages.”

Moran said the sector has been hit by a triple whammy of the pandemic, Brexit and the new immigration system: uncertainty in the sector due to the Government’s handling of the pandemic meaning workers are leaving for other jobs; Brexit means many EU citizens have left the UK; and the new immigration system means hospitality businesses can’t recruit enough people from abroad.

The introduction of a recovery visa has also been called for by UKHospitality.

Speaking after PMQs, Layla Moran MP said: “Our hospitality sector needs the Prime Minister’s backing if we’re going to make the most of this summer season to save the industry and boost the local economy. So I was incredibly disappointed he won’t listen to hotel managers like Kevin. He has failed to fix a problem of his own making.

Education spokesperson Layla Moran

“I hope today was his wake up call. Hoteliers, restaurateurs, publicans and others all need this Government’s support. The Prime Minister’s completely avoidable need to delay the end of lockdown, his botched handling of Brexit and his damaging immigration system have dealt heavy blows to a vital part of our local economy.

“Of course we need to encourage more young Brits to enter hospitality, but Boris Johnson needs to help the sector recruit the staff they need to survive, grow and create jobs. I hope he’ll join me in backing our hospitality industry and introducing a COVID Recovery Visa without delay.”

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