Stuart Andrew has been appointed as the new sports minister. He replaces Nigel Huddleston, who had held the role since early 2020.
During his parliamentary career, Andrew, the MP for Pudsey since 2010, has served in a number of junior posts across various government departments – from justice to housing. He was previously Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice between 8 July 2022 and 7 September 2022. Before that, he was Minister of State (Minister for Housing) in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
While he has no previous experience in sport, his appointment has been welcomed by a numer of organisations in the sports industry.
One of those is the Sports and Play Construction Association (SAPCA), whose CEO, Richard Shaw, said: “We welcome Stuart Andrews’ appointment and look forward to him continuing the work that the DCMS has done in helping our sector fulfill its potential. We also want to offer particular thanks to Nigel Huddleston for everything he did for the sector during the pandemic.
“Sport and physical activity are crucial for the nation’s physical and mental wellbeing and SAPCA members play a pivotal role in delivering the facilities needed for activities to take place. We look forward to further strengthening that role as part of the government’s plans to create an active, healthy nation.”
Lisa Wainwright, CEO of The Sport and Recreation Alliance, added: “We’re very proud of the strong working relationship we have forged with DCMS colleagues and the previous ministerial teams and we look forward to meeting with the new minister and his team to discuss how we, and the wider sector, can help to achieve our shared goal of creating a more active nation.
“Our sector is made up of a diverse range of activities which improve people’s physical and mental health, bring together groups of people from all backgrounds, highly increase social value, and contribute to economic growth. From the elite level to the local parks, waterways and leisure centres, sport and recreation is changing lives and needs to be allowed to continue to do so.
“While the sector is still recovering from the impact of COVID-19, the cost of living and energy crisis is already impacting many of our clubs, organisations, and community groups. Though some of the measures announced in the mini-budget last week will bring some relief to our sector in the short-term as detailed in our response, much stronger fundamental change is needed to make sure our sector is sustainable for the future.”