NEWS16 September 2021

Nadine Dorries appointed culture secretary


UK – Former UK health minister Nadine Dorries has been named UK culture secretary, replacing Oliver Dowden in a cabinet reshuffle.

The appointment of Dorries as appointed secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport by prime minister Boris Johnson came after Dowden was moved to new role as Conservative Party co-chair and minister without portfolio.

The culture secretary is responsible for strategy and policy across the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Dorries, MP for Mid Bedfordshire, was previously minister of state at the Department of Health and Social Care, having been in the role since May 2020.

Dowden, MP for Hertsmere, had served as secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport since 13 February 2020.

Dorries’ appointment comes as the government is passing an online harms bill through parliament, which will allow Ofcom to fine companies that fail in their ‘duty of care’ for users online.

The government has said that the act would protect children online, tackle hate crime and safeguard freedom of expression and democracy.

Dorries has also previously called for the decriminalisation of non-payment of the BBC licence fee, and in a 2014 blog post described the licence fee as a “completely outdated concept”.