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Kevin Brennan appointed Chair of APPG For Music

By | Published on Thursday 19 May 2022

Kevin Brennan

Kevin Brennan MP has been confirmed as the new Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group For Music in the UK Parliament. APPGs are informal groupings that bring together parliamentarians from all political parties with similar interests and which can be very useful for industries looking for political support. And to that end, the cross-sector lobbying group for the UK music industry – UK Music – provides admin support to the music APPG.

Brennan, of course, is also a member of Parliament’s culture select committee and has been very vocal in the economics of streaming debate. As well as taking part in that select committee’s inquiry into streaming, he also put forward a private members bill that set out in formal terms a number of copyright reforms that would change the relationship between artists and labels, and the way artists – especially those on old record deals – share in monies generated by the streaming of their recordings.

The bill was based on some of the recommendations made by the culture select committee at the end of its inquiry. In response to that report, the UK government said it would prefer voluntary rather than legislative solutions to the issues with the music streaming business raised by the committee’s inquiry, and various initiatives are currently underway seeking those voluntary solutions.

To that end the government opposed Brennan’s bill, preventing it from proceeding. However, ministers did say that changes to copyright law could still be considered down the line if that voluntary solution is not forthcoming.

Brennan was already a co-Chair of the APPG For Music, although the main Chair position was previously held by Conservative MP David Warburton. However, he became embroiled in a scandal last month after being accused of sexual harassment by three women.

He has denied the allegations, but the claims against him are reportedly being investigated by Parliament’s Independent Complaints And Grievance Scheme. As a result, he has basically been suspended from the Parliamentary Conservative Party – technically speaking he has “had the Conservative whip withdrawn” – pending the outcome of the investigation.