Michael Ellis MP, the new minister for arts, heritage and tourism.

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In what was his maiden speech to the art and antiques sector, Michael Ellis MP promised that the forthcoming law banning the UK ivory trade would be “balanced” and that exemptions will be “appropriate and carefully implemented”.

He told delegates that he had spoken about the issue to Michael Gove, who as environment minister is championing a near-total ban on trading ivory in the UK, and that his [arts, heritage and tourism] department was keeping “a close eye on developments”.

The ivory bill reaches committee stage in The House of Lords on September 10.