International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is guest of honour at delayed 384th Cutlers' Feast in Sheffield

The Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, is the principal guest speaker at the 384th Cutlers' Feast in Sheffield.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 9:40 am

Ms Truss accepted an invitation from Master Cutler Nick Williams.

The exclusive, white-tie-and-tails event is at the opulent Cutlers’ Hall on Church Street on Thursday, September 16.

Billed as the most important business dinner north of London, it traditionally attracts top politicians and even the Prime Minister.

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Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss leaves 10 Downing Street. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)

It is organised by the 397-year-old Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire and attended by hundreds of senior figures from business and the establishment including the civil service, church, military and City of London livery companies as well as freemen (manufacturers) and friends (service sector supporters) of the Company.

It is usually held in May, but was cancelled last year and postponed this year due to the pandemic. Mr Williams has also stayed on for a second year as Master Cutler.

Ms Truss was appointed Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade in July 2019. She was appointed Minister for Women and Equalities in September 2019.

The website states her principal responsibilities are leading the UK’s role in securing new free trade agreements, developing a new UK global tariff policy, reforming the World Trade Organisation, upgrading the UK’s export performance and increasing the amount and value of foreign direct investment into the UK.

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 Feast is as old as the Company, founded in 1624.

Two hundred years ago it lasted three days, with booths erected in the High Street and in the church yard and ‘with all business generally suspended'.

Today it is briefer, being confined to a single evening. But it remains an opportunity to showcase the region as a centre for modern, effective and efficient manufacturing through innovation and technology.

Margaret Thatcher was speaker in 1983 and had to be smuggled in to avoid protesters.

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

Recent guests include then business secretaries Sajid Javid and Greg Clark, transport secretary Lord Adonis and former Sheffield MP Nick Clegg, when he was Deputy Prime Minister.

In 2019, MP David Lidington, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, was announced as replacement speaker just days before the event following the sacking of defence secretary Gavin Williamson.

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.