Ed Vaizey becomes Minister for Culture
Conservative Party games advocate appointed to position
Conservative MP Ed Vaizey, who has been a vocal advocate of the games industry over the months preceeding the general election, has been appointed Culture Minister of the new Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition government.
In his former role of Shadow Arts Minister, Vaizey spoke out regularly in defence of the games industry, noting that it was an important sector for the country and that it deserved a level playing field on which to compete with other countries.
"You are competing against countries that are giving active fiscal support to the videogames industry, and I think it's a given that you have to put something in place to, quite frankly, level the playing field - so it is my absolutely number one priority, should we win the general election," he said, speaking on tax breaks at a Playing The Game panel session held earlier in the year.
"I think that the videogames industry, in terms of the political world, has come an enormous distance," he added. "When people like Richard Wilson and ELSPA came to see me, they described this industry which is a politician's dream, and I couldn't understand why it wasn't more prominent...and the only way we heard about it was when Keith Vaz raised it in a motion about serial killers."
At a similar ELSPA event held in March following Labour's promise in the Budget of a games industry tax break, Vaizey pledged: "We are going to support tax breaks for the videogames industry."
Trade body ELSPA said that it "warmly applauds" Vaizey's appointment to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
"Over the last two years Ed Vaizey has proven himself to be one of the few politicians with a true grasp as to the importance of the video games industry and its cultural impact," said ELSPA director general Michael Rawlinson.
"Due to several meetings held with the new Minister in the run up to the election Ed is well aware of the issues we face. We therefore welcome the opportunity of working with him and his team in addressing these issues."