Rebecca Pow has replaced Michael Ellis as the Arts, Tourism and Heritage Minister at DCMS as a result of a minor reshuffle following Andrea Leadsom’s resignation from Cabinet. Below is a profile of the new Minister which highlights her areas of interest and where there may be challenges for the tourism industry.
Rebecca Pow went to University of London where she gained a degree in Rural Environment Studies. She started her working career with the NFU before getting into radio and TV focusing on rural issues. She then left ITV to set up her own PR company which focused on rural issues which she ran for 10 years. She entered politics in 2013 and stood for the Taunton Deane constituency in the 2015 election, where she won from the Lib Dem MP Jeremy Browne, who had held the seat for 10 years.
Since being in parliament, she has risen steadily while remaining focused on her strengths and interests in rural and environmental issues. Up until her appointment as Minister, she had also been a member of the DCMS Select Committee so she has a reasonable background on the issues facing her in her new role. During the Referendum she voted to remain, but is opposed to uncontrolled immigration. Her concerns with Brexit relate to the impact on the UK’s agricultural industry and whether there would be any watering down of environmental protections.
She has been an active member of a large number of APPGs, again mostly associated with rural and environmental issues including the need for better Broadband in rural areas and improved transport connections. She is also active in campaigning against climate change and was awarded a Green Heart Hero Award by The Climate Coalition last year. This suggests that she may well support domestic tourism over international tourism.