The industry body said it was forced to drop out as Labour would not commit to “proper scrutiny”.

Photo of Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn
Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn

Rwendland (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0), via Wikime

The Creative Industries Federation (CIF) has pulled out of a planned election event with Labour after the party would not commit to “proper scrutiny”.

Although CIF organised a similar event with Conservative Culture Minister Matt Hancock this week, at which he answered questions on Brexit, the industrial strategy and education, CIF has confirmed it will not take part in an event with Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson scheduled to take place in Hull next week.

“As Labour informed us that they were no longer able to devote a similar amount of time to questioning as the other parties have agreed to, we invited them to reconsider,” a CIF spokesperson said.

“When we could not agree, we had no choice but to pull out of the event.”

The campaign group began a series of events with the four largest Westminster parties this week – the Conservatives, Labour, Scottish National Party (SNP) and Liberal Democrats – offering a “rigorous question and answer session” between a senior party representative and CIF members on the arts, creative industries and cultural education.

CIF said it has a “track record for independence” and is non-partisan. “We cannot provide a backdrop for campaign events which do not offer the opportunity for proper scrutiny,” it said.

It continued: “We understand Labour plans to go ahead with the event on Monday and if you still wish to attend we suggest you contact the party directly.”

When asked why the political party was not able to devote time to questioning requested by CIF, a Labour Party spokesperson told AP: “Unfortunately, we were unable to agree a format for the event with the Creative Industries Federation but we look forward to working with them in the future.”

CIF's event with the Liberal Democrats was re-scheduled following a suspected terrorist attack in Manchester on Monday evening.

This article was updated on 23/05/2017 to include a comment from the Labour Party and to highlight the re-scheduling of the CIF event with the Liberal Democrats.



I'm not sure what's meant by 'pulling out' other than that CIF won't now have anyone joining the Labour Leader and Deputy Leader on the platform at what appears to be an event organised by the Labour Party, and that none of CIF's top people will now be required to travel all the way up from London. Though the Conservatives and Lib Dems won't be fielding any similarly senior politicians, they've been much more considerate in enthusiastically agreeing to be provided with far more convenient platforms down there in the capital where everyone who really matters in the world of culture and creative industries will be able to get along to hear them propounding their policies at length. If it's any comfort to the CIF luminaries who'd been hoping to show those of us in the sticks how to conduct a proper debate and to exercise 'proper scrutiny', we can only promise to do our very best from the perspective of creative practitioners, entrepreneurs and communities who have to live and work out here in the regional wastelands.

The Federation is very sorry not to be coming back to Hull. We had welcomed many of the measures in the Labour manifesto when they were announced this week. You can read what we said on our website or here: We had made contact with all the main political parties as soon as the election was announced and agreed the series of events where they were to speak about their ideas and their policies and then discuss them over a Q&A. We decided we had to withdraw from the event with Labour when they said they could not give the time for the discussion as planned. We are a strong advocate for the arts and creative industries but our independence is important to that.

"The Federation is very sorry not to be coming back to Hull"?? Are you not forgetting there are Federation members in all the regions, including Yorkshire and Hull? It seems you make my point.