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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Wishart elected Chair of All Party Writers’ Group

The All Party Writers’ Group (APWG) has announced that Pete Wishart MP has been elected as its new Chairman.

Scottish National Party MP Wishart replaces John Whittingdale MP, recently promoted to Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport. Pete Wishart has a long history of supporting the creative industries, not least because for 15 years, he was a member of Celtic folk-rock band Runrig.

A passionate supporter of creators’ rights, Wishart said after his election: “I am delighted to have been elected as Chair of the All Party Writers’ Group. Immediate priorities are to ensure writers are fairly paid for their work. This means we should be focusing on ensuring fair contracts for writers and ensuring the debate being held by the European Commission in Brussels on copyright doesn’t create an environment through future legislation that disadvantages writers.”

The All Party Parliamentary Writers’ Group was established to protect and promote authors’ rights.

It consists of cross party members who meet regularly to discuss issues pertaining to writers and who encourage the Government to consider the plight of the writers when considering any changes in legislation. It has tackled a number of difficult issues in Parliament, most recently pushing for the implementation of the extension of Public Lending Right to audiobooks as enshrined in the Digital Economy Act 2010, an extension finally put into practice in 2014.