Jeremy Hunt, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, visited Insomnia Gaming Festival i71 last weekend to check out the esports areas and other activities.
Insomnia of course takes place at the Birmingham NEC twice a year, and features a host of esports tournaments (see the i71 esports winners here), an expo hall featuring games, products and more, plus other activities like a pub quiz.
The official HM Treasury X (aka Twitter) account posted the following during the event, saying: “Computer games are fun, challenging and a huge boost to the UK economy.
“They’re worth £2.8bn, employ 27,000 people in the UK and are home to award-winning studios behind No Man’s Sky & Burnout Paradise. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt visited Insomnia to see UK gaming in action.”
Reaction to the social post was mixed, with some saying the show of support from government was positive, others asking for funding, and some not impressed with the appearance.
Jackerlus said: “You’re at Insomnia warming up for your first map and Jeremy Hunt slaps your PC and privatises your healthcare system. Wyd?”
A press release about Insomnia Gaming Festival i71s noted: “Jeremy Hunt, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, made an appearance to check out the Esports Arena highlighting the important role gaming and esports is playing in the UK economy.”
The news comes a few days after Ukie, The Story Mob, YouGov and Esports News UK published a report about the state of UK esports.
HM Treasury responds to question asking Jeremy Hunt if he wants to play Valorant
In an act of extreme necro (responding to an online post after it’s been dormant for a long time), The HM Treasury X (aka Twitter) account also responded to a post from November 2022 asking whether Jeremy Hunt wants to play Valorant.
The account said: “Sorry for the late reply! The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unfortunately isn’t available for Valorant but did visit Insomnia Gaming Festival yesterday to see UK gaming and tech talent.”
The person who asked the question, Max Turnbull, responded: “What the f*** lmao.”
Do you think if we ask Jeremy if he wants to play League of Legends we’ll get a yes? We’re not sure we’re willing to wait 10 months to find out.
Dom is an award-winning writer and finalist of the Esports Journalist of the Year 2023 award. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and offer esports consultancy and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter on a freelance basis, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple – usually just covering the occasional press release – because of this conflict of interest.