Mark Eastwood, Conservative MP for Dewsbury, has been appointed chair of the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group (APPFIG).
He takes over from Mike Wood, Conservative MP for Dudley South, who has led the group since it was formed in 2020, following the December 2019 General Election.
Mark was appointed at the AGM of the APPFIG, along with other officers of the group: Rosie Cooper, Labour MP for East Lancashire; Mike Wood, Conservative MP for Dudley South; Greg Smith, MP for Buckingham; Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield; Steve Baker, MP for Wycombe; Kim Leadbeater, MP for Batley and Spen; James Daly, MP for Bury North; and Conservative Peer Baroness Warsi.
“I am honoured and delighted to have been elected as chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group," says Mark. "Having worked in the industry for more than 15 years prior to my election as MP for Dewsbury in 2019, I am acutely aware of the big challenges the industry faces as we emerge from a global pandemic. In my position of chair, I will champion the furniture and furnishings industry at the highest level of Government, to help overcome these challenges and ensure that this vital sector for the UK economy continues to thrive.”
Jonathan Hindle, chairman of the British Furniture Confederation (BFC), which sponsors the secretariat of the APPFIG, welcomed Mark’s appointment and paid tribute to the support from Mike Wood over the past couple of years: “Mike has done a fantastic job in raising the industry’s concerns and working with the BFC to ensure ministers and civil servants are aware of the key policy issues. This was required particularly during the Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020.
“I’m equally delighted to welcome Mark to the role. With his background of working in the industry and a constituency with many manufacturers from our sector within it, he is particularly well placed to understand the challenges we face. As vice-chair of the group, he has already proved his willingness to be proactive on supporting the industry and I’m sure he will continue with even more enthusiasm to help us ensure the furniture industry’s voice is heard.”