Maggie Throup, Conservative MP for East Midlands constituency Erewash, has been appointed new chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group (APPFIG).
Maggie’s election follows the decision by Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, to step down from the APPFIG role, which he has held since 2010. Stephen will be concentrating on his recently acquired role as chairman of the Regulatory Reform Select Committee and membership of Liaison and Finance Select Committees. Said Stephen: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as chairman of the furniture All Party Group. I feel we have made real progress in making the sure the government is aware of the industry’s concerns – and its importance to the British economy. Although I’m stepping down from the chairmanship, I will continue to have a real interest in its progress.”
Maggie was elected to the Erewash seat in 2015 and held it with an increased majority in the 2017 General Election. With Long Eaton and Ilkeston in her constituency, Maggie already has knowledge of, and links, with the furniture industry – and lost no time after her election to chairman of the group to raise a question in the House, asking her ministerial colleagues in charge of the renovation of the Palace of Westminster to give due consideration to British furniture and furnishing providers.
Jonathan Hindle, chairman of the British Furniture Confederation (BFC), which works closely with the APPFIG, welcomed Maggie’s appointment and paid tribute to the support from Stephen McPartland over the past eight years: “Working with Stephen since I took over this role in 2016 has been a pleasure. Stephen is a hands-on operator who wants to see things happen when he gets behind them and he has enabled the industry, through the BFC, to get in front of ministers and civil servants and make their point of view heard.
“I’m equally delighted to welcome Maggie Throup to the role. Maggie has already attended a number of APPFIG and BFC functions. She has a number of furniture companies in her constituency and it’s clear that she intends to get stuck right in and do what she can to help forward the cause of the industry in government.”
Said Maggie Throup of her appointment: “I have seen for myself the fantastic furniture made in my constituency Erewash, known as the UK Centre of Quality Upholstery Manufacture, and which I know is echoed all over the country. The furniture and furnishings industry is a significant contributor to the British economy, with over 8,000 firms turning over more than £11 billion and employing more than 118,000 people. What’s more, furniture is something we all use, every day - and night - of our lives. It’s practical, aesthetic, it affects our emotions, our health and our wellbeing. It matters and it will be a pleasure to promote and to champion the concerns of the sector in Parliament.”
Picture – new APPFIG chairman Maggie Throup with BFC chairman Jonathan Hindle (left) and retiring APPFIG chairman Stephen McPartland, MP