UK shipping bodies welcome appointment of new Maritime Minister


Mike Kane MP (pictured) has been appointed the UK’s new Maritime Minister following the Labour Party’s general election victory last week, which saw Sir Keir Starmer take over from Rishi Sunak as the country’s Prime Minister.

The CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping, Rhett Hatcher, reacted to the news by saying: “I congratulate Mike Kane on his appointment as Maritime Minister. Having shadowed the maritime brief for most of the last Parliament he brings a wealth of knowledge to the role and is ably placed to hit the ground running. I look forward to working together to help ensure shipping continues to be at the heart of UK prosperity.

“There is much to be done across government for the shipping sector,” Hatcher added. “Early focus should be on a long- term decarbonisation plan, ensuring our approach to maritime borders helps, rather than hinders, trade and working with the sector to deliver the workforce we need now and in the future.”

Jos Standerwick, Chief Executive of Maritime London said: “I very much welcome the appointment of Mike Kane as Minister for Maritime. Maritime London looks forward to working closely with Minister Kane and his team.

“The shipping industry’s exposure to national and supranational regulation has never been so pronounced. Collaboration with government is key to maintaining and enhancing the UK’s leadership in maritime professional services and securing the UK’s crucial role in the facilitation of global trade.”

Stuart Rivers, CEO of maritime charity the Merchant Navy Welfare Board also welcomed the new minister, saying: “We congratulate Mike Kane MP as the new Maritime Minister and look forward to working with him more closely.

“While there has been much change at Westminster following Labour’s landslide victory at the General Election, it’s imperative that, now more than ever, maritime charities join forces with UK Government, shipowners, trade unions and ports to help drive the welfare standards of seafarers.

“There are currently huge challenges in welfare provision for seafarers from connectivity struggles to improvement needed in facilities across UK ports. But the need for change presents the new government with a fantastic opportunity to bridge the gap in long-term welfare support at a fitting time for the industry.”

Earlier the Chief Executive of Maritime UK, Chris Shirling-Rooke, had issued his congratulations to incoming Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, also urging him to prioritise the interests and economic prosperity of coastal communities in the Government’s upcoming plans and agenda.

The UK maritime industries – including ports, professional services, leisure marine, shipping and engineering – support over 1.1 million jobs across the country, Shirling-Roke pointed out, and as a sector are worth more than rail and aviation combined. “There is no time to waste,” he said, adding: “It is time to get serious about maritime.”