Last Friday, as the Prime Minister’s Net Zero Business Champion it was my pleasure to welcome small businesses from across the country to No10 to meet with the Prime Minister as we launched the ‘Together for Our Planet’ campaign drive to encourage small businesses to make a pledge to reduce their carbon footprint in the run up to the UK hosted UN Climate Summit this November. Amongst the businesses attending, I was delighted to see Claire Denman, the owner of The Flower Shop in Pulborough, West Sussex, who met Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the garden of 10 Downing street and told him about some of the practical steps her florist business has taken including switching to an electric commercial delivery van. I would encourage all small and medium business owners to visit www.businessclimatehub.org for easy and practical steps for them to start their own Net Zero journey.
In addition to the good weather, this week we celebrated the welcome news that for the first time since July last year, the UK reported a day of zero Covid deaths. This progress is a testament to the ongoing vaccine rollout. Almost 40 million of us have had at least one dose, representing nearly 60% of the total population, whilst 26 million have had both jabs - including all of the most at-risk groups such as the elderly and those with conditions that would have made them vulnerable to Covid. The Government has now opened vaccine bookings to everyone aged 30 and over, and I would encourage anyone who has not already done so to book their jab today.
On Saturday, the Prime Minister got married in a private ceremony at Westminster Cathedral. Many – irrespective of party politics - have asked me to pass on their congratulations at this happy news. As the country recovers from the pandemic, we are all looking forward to the return of the regular rhythm of weddings which punctuate our social calendars. Many couples are still waiting after a year of delay, and as Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Group on the Weddings Industry, I will continue to do all I can to support our wedding venues and suppliers to return to business as normal from the 21 June.