Michelle Donelan named UK secretary of state for digital, culture media and sport

Donelan is Conservative MP for Chippenham in Wiltshire.
Donelan is Conservative MP for Chippenham in Wiltshire.

Michelle Donelan will take the helm at the DCMS as it prepares to finally publish its gambling white paper.

UK.- The new British prime minister Liz Truss has named Michelle Donelan as secretary of state for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whose remit includes gambling. Donelan will replace Nadine Dorries, who resigned as Truss took office.

Donelan is the Conservative MP for Chippenham in Wiltshire. She served as minister of state for higher education under Boris Johnson’s premiership and steped up as secretary of state for education for two days amid the wave of resignations that forced Johnson to resign.

At the helm of the DCMS, she will oversee expected reforms of the BBC and will have to define whether the government will move ahead with heavily criticised plans to privatise Channel 4. However, the DCMS is also responsible for the government’s overhaul of gambling legislation, which has been delayed by more than six months.

It remains to be seen who will be named to lead the review, which was in its final stages before the interruption of the Conservative Party leadership contest. Damian Collins was put in charge of the review temporarily following the resignation of Chris Philp in protest at Boris Johnson’s leadership July, but it’s not clear to what extent Truss may want to put her own stamp on the gambling white paper.

The industry lobby and standards group the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) welcomed Donelan’s appointment.

BGC CEO Michael Dugher said: “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.”

Other appointments in Truss’s new cambinet include Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor of the exchequer, James Cleverly as foreign secretary and Suella Braverman as home secretary. Thérèse Coffey has been named secretary of education, Jacob Rees Mogg as business secretary and Ben Wallace as defence secretary.

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