The office of 10 Downing Street has confirmed the appointment of Michelle Donelan as new Secretary of State for DCMS.
The MP for Chippenham (Wiltshire) will replace incumbent Nadine Dorries, who has chosen not to serve in the senior cabinet of new PM Liz Truss, having stated her preference to ‘return to the backbenches’.
Under PM Boris Johnson, Donelan served as Minister of State for Higher Education leading the government’s briefs for universities and adult learning.
Following a wake of resignations against PM Johnson’s leadership, Donelan took charge of Secretary of State for Education position – lasting just two days as Johnson was forced to resign from office, triggering the Conservative Party leadership contest.
Appointed PM yesterday, Liz Truss announced her first cabinet, led by the promotion of Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor of the Exchequer, alongside James Cleverly as Foreign Secretary and Suella Braverman as Home Secretary.
A supporter of Truss’ leadership campaign, Donelan was announced as DCMS new leader, alongside the cabinet appointments of Thérèse Coffey as Secretary of Education, Jacob Rees Mogg as Business Secretary and Ben Wallace as Defence Secretary.
Taking leadership of DCMS’ brief, Donelan is expected to take on the key agendas of further BBC reforms and whether the government will trigger a much-criticised privatisation of Channel 4 – that had been outlined during Johnson’s premiership.
The government has yet to confirm junior appointments to find out which minister will take charge of overseeing the government’s pending reform of UK gambling laws.
2022 proceedings saw the government announce consecutive delays in the publishing of the white paper on gambling reforms, which sees industry stakeholders continue to wait on transformative judgements related to customer affordability checks, compliance, wagering limits and football sponsorships.
Re-scheduled to be announced in July, gambling incumbents were further frustrated as the government pulled back its decision, citing that industry reforms would be settled by a new cabinet taking office in September, following the conclusion of the leadership contest.
As stands, gambling duties are overseen by Damian Collins, DCMS Undersecretary for Media and Tech, who took charge of gambling affairs on a temporary basis.
The appointment of Donelan as leader of DCMS was welcomed by industry trade body the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).
BGC CEO, Michael Dugher commented: “On behalf of the 119,000 people whose jobs are supported by our members – from the high street to hospitality, from tourism to tech – I’d like to congratulate Michelle Donelan on her new role as Secretary of State for DCMS. Our industry generates £4.5bn in taxes for the Treasury and contributes £7.7bn for the economy in gross value added.
“We have been working extremely closely with the DCMS over many years to help the Government find the right balance in the Gambling Review so that we continue to drive big changes and higher standards on safer gambling to better protect the most vulnerable, whilst at the same time ensuring that the millions of people who enjoy an occasional flutter perfectly safely and responsibly have the freedom to do so.”