Huge disappointment as Liz Truss dramatically pulls out of Cutlers' Feast - and this is her replacement

Liz Truss has pulled out of the Cutlers’ Feast in Sheffield with less than 24 hours to go.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 9:57 am

Her office informed the Company of Cutlers late on Wednesday - and said there was no one from the Department for International Trade to take her place.

It comes after she became Foreign Secretary in the Prime Minister’s reshuffle earlier in the day.

The decision is hugely disappointing for the Company and its flagship event - being held for the first time in two years.

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Liz Truss is new foreign secretary. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)

It is understood Alexander Stafford, Conservative MP for Rother Valley, has agreed to speak if required. He sits on the House of Commons Business Strategy Committee and chairs the ESG and Hydrogen Committees, so has some relevant business background in Parliament.

The Feast is billed as the most important business dinner north of London and traditionally attracts secretaries of state.

The exclusive, white-tie-and-tails event - the 384th in the Company’s long history - is at the opulent Cutlers’ Hall on Church Street.

Colonel Phil Bates, chief executive and clerk to the Company, said: “Obviously Government Cabinet reshuffles cannot be predicted. We congratulate the Secretary of State on her appointment as Foreign Secretary but are very disappointed that she was unable to honour the commitment and that the Department was unable to offer an alternative speaker.

Master Cutler Nick Cragg, David Lidington MP, members of the Cutlers’ Company and soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment at the Cutlers’ Feast at the Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield in 2019.

"The business related insights they would have brought, covering post Brexit and Covid recovery and how “levelling up” would be applied practically in our region would have been of great interest and relevance to our business community present on the night”.

The 378th Cutlers' Feast at the Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield.

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.