New Covent Garden Market — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:15 pm on 2 July 2019.

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Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury 4:15, 2 July 2019

It is an honour to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hollobone. I congratulate my hon. Friend Chris Heaton-Harris on securing the debate. I know him well; we have discussed the matter on several occasions, and I could not think of a better person to bring the debate to the Chamber today. I note that the local MP, Marsha De Cordova, is also here and understandably shares many of the same concerns, but I think it is fair to say that, given my hon. Friend’s time spent working at the market, his knowledge and experience are second to none here, so we are delighted that he is with us. It must have been a real privilege for him to follow in his family’s footsteps and run that business so successfully for that period of time.

My hon. Friend can be reassured that the Government are committed to ensuring that this iconic market continues to thrive at Nine Elms, both during the development and into the future. We are in absolute agreement that that means it must be a profitable market that works logistically and operates fairly and transparently for both landlord and tenants, and that we need to get on and build it at pace. I am as concerned as he is about the current situation. It is simply untenable for the market authority and the tenants to be in disagreement on such important details. I am clear that both sides should be spending whatever time it takes to resolve these issues, and quickly.