Simon Danczuk, Rochdale’s MP, has been elected the new chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group (APPSSG), replacing Priti Patel.

The APPSSG is a cross-party group made up MPs and Lords interested in small shops and the social and economic value they play in communities.

Danczuk said: “I am looking forward to taking on the chairmanship of this group. As a small business owner myself I understand the stresses and strains of running a business and I want to make sure my Parliamentary colleagues do too. Our economy is very dependent on entrepreneurs like small shop owners who create jobs and growth in the economy.”

Former Small Shops Group chair Priti Patel was promoted in the Government’s reshuffle to Exchequer Secretary at the Treasury. Danczuk said: “I thank Priti Patel for the work she did with the group, highlighting issues affecting small shops such as energy contracts and crime, I hope that she will continue to take an interest in small shop issues in her new ministerial role.”

The next meeting of the APPSSG will take place in September when Parliament returns from summer recess. The Secretariat for the APPSSG is provided by ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) and the NFRN (National Federation of Retail Newsagents) on behalf of the Independent Retail Confederation.