Rt Hon Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development and Conservative MP for Witham
“Congratulations to every single restaurant and chef nominated tonight. You represent the 20,000 businesses in the sector that are contributing over £2 billion to the UK economy every year, while driving entrepreneurship, growth and employment across our country. Tonight is a celebration of the significant contribution you all make to the UK economy and to British society.
We are at a defining moment for our country where we will show the global leadership the UK can provide around the world, because of the entrepreneurship and work ethic of chefs and businesses that make up the successful of the restaurant industry. You represent the best of Britain; the hardworking innovators bringing diversity, jobs – and tasty kebabs - to your local communities.
Although I cannot join your celebrations this evening, I thank you all for the enormous contribution you are making to our economy, to communities across the UK and to our country. I wish you all a wonderful evening.”