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On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek your advice on an urgent and important matter. On Monday, the Government advised the public to avoid large gatherings and gatherings in smaller public spaces, such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars and clubs, rather than closing venues directly. The Creative Industries Federation has said that this is a “crippling blow” to the UK’s creative sector, and there was understandable anxiety that it would mean mass bankruptcies and long-term closures of venues. However, the Chancellor reassured us yesterday that insurance companies would help, saying that
“for those businesses that…have a policy that covers pandemics, the Government’s action is sufficient and will allow them to make an insurance claim against their policy”—[Official Report,
Vol. 637, c. 932.]
He even went so far as to say that the Government had spoken to the insurance sector looking for support, yet many organisations have made representations to me today to say that insurance companies will not permit losses due to the covid-19 pandemic and that no theatre, restaurant, or small or medium-sized enterprise would ever be able to afford that sort of cover—cover usually associated with Apple and big companies like that. Therefore, what advice can you offer me on how Members might seek clarification from Ministers on this crucial issue, which is adding to the anxiety for businesses in the creative industries and more widely?