Warm welcome for New Maritime Minister
Ms Tolhurst was appointed a Member of Parliament (MP) for Rochester and Strood in the May 2015 general election. Her new maritime role is understood to encompass both shipping and ports, including overseeing the project to create up to 10 new ‘Freeports’ for which a 10-week government consultation period has just been launched.
Kelly is no stranger to the marine industry having, in her words, “grown up around my dad’s boatbuilding business” and gone on to be a marine surveyor and director of a UK marine and industrial coatings company.
Maritime organisations have widely welcomed the appointment, including the British Ports Association chief executive Richard Ballantyne who said “Now is a pivotal time to take on the brief of maritime minister, with the current consultation on Freeports. Post-Brexit trade-facilitation is also high on the agenda, as well as sustainability and port connectivity.”
Andrew Webster, CEO of Mercator Media, comments “We enjoyed an excellent relationship with the previous Maritime Minister who attended the exhibition twice to meet with key leaders in the commercial marine industry and to offer important insights into the Government’s future maritime strategies. We are encouraged that the new minister has a background in both business and the marine sector and so will be able to understand the challenges our exhibitors face. We hope to welcome the minister to Seawork.”