He starts in April...

Former Labour MP Tom Watson has been named new chair of UK Music.

UK Music is an umbrella body for the commercial music industry in this country, and it covers every area of manufacturing.

Tom Watson has been appointed as the new chair, following an extensive recruitment process on the part of UK Music.

Spending two decades as a Labour MP, Tom Watson was Shadow Culture Secretary and Labour Party Deputy Leader before standing down in 2019.

Tom Watson takes up his new role in April, succeeding outgoing chair Andy Heath CBE. Issuing a statement, Tom Watson said his top priority would be securing maximum support for all areas of the music industry in order to combat the impact of coronavirus.

He said: "UK Music speaks with a powerful voice for the whole of the UK commercial music sector. And at the heart of the sector are the songwriters and musicians, many thousands of whom stand ready to serve in the national effort against the coronavirus."

"In ordinary times, the UK’s commercial music sector contributes £5.2 billion to the UK economy and supports 190,000 jobs. The cancellation of live music events has devastated the sector. Thousands of jobs are now in peril and threaten the long-term bottom line of the UK economy."

"Our urgent task is to work with our colleagues and partners in Government to support the national effort to defeat coronavirus, whilst protecting the jewel in the crown of British culture - commercial music. When we’re through this crisis, UK Music has an important part to play in Britain’s developing new role in the world. We believe we can be the Prime Minister's calling card to every country on the planet."

"There will be much to say about this in the months ahead but first, let’s deal with this crisis. I will be seeking urgent talks with ministers and officials to ensure that we support the music-makers of Britain and the industry that always sustains us through the good times and the bad."

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