Lisa Nandy named UK secretary of culture, media and sport 

Lisa Nandy
Lisa Nandy

The Labour MP will oversee the department charged with continuing UK gambling reforms.

UK.- The new Labour prime minister Sir Keir Starmer has named Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan, as secretary of culture, media and sport, the government department in charge of gambling policy. Nandy steps into the role last held by Conservative MP Lucy Frazer, who lost her seat in last week’s general election.

The appointment was made after Labour’s former shadow secretary for the position, Thangam Debbonaire, lost her constituency to the Green Party. Nandy is a long-serving Labour MP and was a Cabinet Office undersecretary in the last Labour government under Gordon Brown over 14 years ago. While Labour was in opposition, Nandy served as shadow minister for foreign affairs, for energy policy and climate change and for levelling-up minister shadowing Michael Gove. She ran in the 2020 Labour leadership election, finishing third behind Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long Bailey.

Gambling operators will be hoping that Nandy’s appointment brings some stability to the DCMS, which was overseen by a series of 14 state secretaries during the Conservative Party’s time in office. The department has yet to confirm which junior minister will inherit the gambling brief from the Conservatives’ Stuart Andrew, who had resigned before the election. However, Stephanie Peacock, MP for Barnsley East, was shadow minister for sport, gambling and media when the election was called. She is believed to largely agree with the reforms started by the previous government.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has welcomed the victory of Keir Starmer’s Labour Party in the UK General Election. The body said it had long viewed Labour as a government in waiting and that the election landslide would provide stability for the sector.

BGC chair Michael Dugher, himself a former Labour MP, pledged to work with the new cabinet to help deliver Labour’s election promise to increase standards for responsible gambling while making the UK the world-leading betting and gaming market. However, Labour’s policy is not expected to differ significantly from that of the former Conservative government, and, at least for the moment, no major changes are expected beyond what was already envisioned in last year’s Gambling White Paper.

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