SBC News Gambling Review rudderless as Damian Collins steps down from DCMS

Gambling Review rudderless as Damian Collins steps down from DCMS

UK Gambling has no ministerial steward, as Damian Collins has announced his resignation as an undersecretary of DCMS.

Yesterday afternoon, Collins confirmed via a Twitter post his resignation from departmental duties, choosing to return to the backbenches and serve in his role as MP for Folkestone and Hythe.

Departing DCMS, Collins highlighted the department’s “work to take forward the Online Safety Bill” – a 2019 manifesto pledge made by PM Boris Johnson that is yet to be presented to Parliament.

In July, following a raft of MP resignations protesting Boris Johnson’s party leadership, Collins was assigned to serve as Undersecretary for Tech and Digital.

Interim duties included overseeing the Gambling Review’s final proceedings, taking charge of duties from Chris Philp, who had resigned as the minister overseeing industry reforms.

Collins was the fifth minister to lead the Gambling Review which was formally sanctioned in December 2020. He is preceded by MPs Chris Philp, John Whittingdale, Nigel Adams and Nigel Huddleston.

Appointed PM on Tuesday, Rishi Sunak’s senior cabinet reshuffle saw no changes to DCMS leadership, which will be maintained by Michelle Donelan as Culture Secretary.

Under the Conservative government, DCMS has witnessed 11 secretarial changes in the past 12 years.

The department has been criticised by regulatory stakeholders, as it has failed to deliver on its key agenda of reviews and reforms 

Further to publishing UK gambling’s White Paper, DCMS agenda includes completing its delayed review of the BBC and whether to proceed with the privatisation of Channel 4, the latter an issue that has divided opinion within party ranks. 

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