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Nadine Dorries to Speak at Creative Coalition Festival Amid BBC Row




British culture minister Nadine Dorries is set to speak at the 2022 Creative Coalition Festival alongside political opponent Keir Starmer.

Dorries, who is the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, will give the welcome address at the festival’s Feb. 1 opening after being introduced by Creative U.K.’s chief executive Caroline Norbury and TV and radio presenter Swarzy, who hosts the festival’s opening day.

She will be followed the next day by Labour party leader Starmer, who will give a keynote speech “outlining his vision for the U.K.’s creative sector.”

“We are thrilled to announce that the Secretary of State and Leader of the Opposition are addressing Creative Coalition Festival 2022,” said Norbury. “Their appearances further underline the power of the festival as a forum for addressing the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the creative sector, bringing together diverse voices from across industry and politics to drive change.”

Dorries’ speech will mark one of her first public appearances since she announced her plans to freeze the BBC’s licence fee over the next six years before scrapping it altogether.

Her plans have caused outcry from the U.K.’s creative leaders, who have slammed the decision.

Creative Coalition Festival is a virtual three-day celebration of the U.K.’s creative industries.

Also speaking at the event are Heather Rabbatts, chair of Time’s Up U.K., pop singer Rebecca Ferguson, TV host June Sarpong, “Line of Duty” creator Jed Mercurio, an outspoken critic of prime minister Boris Johnson and chair of Arts Council England Nicholas Serota among others.