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Given the future of design in Government is uncertain following the dissolution of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, where do you think design most logically sits and which politician(s) should champion design in Parliament?

‘Design is hard to position within Government as it affects all departments and is a strategic factor in all decisions made about construction, architecture, environment, industry, transport, health, education and the communication method across all. Champions of design recently identified within each Government department have full-time responsibility elsewhere, so design seems no more than a glancing interest. A formal role within the Treasury to lead on all design issues for Parliament would be catalytic. I would vote for Sir Anthony Turnbull.’

JANE PRIESTMAN, DESIGN MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT

‘The Department of Trade and Industry is the logical home for design. lt never sat comfortably within the DCMS, with its diverse responsibilities. No current minister has the sensitivity nor understanding of our world, just as there have been successive Film Ministers who have little knowledge of cinema today. l’d bring back Tony Benn, who has a genuine interest in design.’

MIKE DEMPSEY, DIRECTOR, CDT DESIGN

‘I have worked with Barry Sheerman, the MP for Huddersfield, who is truly passionate about design. He has no governmental responsibility for design, but he set up the Parliamentary Design Group, which provides great opportunities for our industry. Barry is best qualified to be our voice in Government – which must be at the heart of the DTI.’

JONATHAN SANDS, CHAIRMAN, ELMWOOD

‘If the Tories had won, the culture portfolio would have gone to Ann Widdecombe whose dress sense, sensitivity and feeling for other cultures would have made her the obvious candidate. But John Prescott will probably have to do.’

WALLY OLINS, FOUNDER, WOLFF OLINS

‘Design should be an issue for everyone in an organisation. When that organisation is charged with setting an agenda for the country, that responsibility is huge in terms of ensuring the Government designs its outputs effectively and encourages a culture that appreciates the value of design. The support has to come from Tony Blair.’

MARTIN HAYWARD, CHAIRMAN, THE HENLEY CENTRE

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