NEWS14 February 2020

Oliver Dowden named culture secretary

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UK – Oliver Dowden has been appointed secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, taking over from Nicky Morgan.

Dowden, MP for Hertsmere, was previously paymaster general and minister for the Cabinet Office from July 2019. Prior to that, he was parliamentary secretary at the Cabinet Office.

Dowden’s appointment, part of Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle, comes at a time when the government is considering the future of the BBC and is preparing to introduce legislation on online harms that would see tech firms regulated by Ofcom. 

In the summer, the government will publish its response to the recently launched public consultation on the decriminalisation of the BBC licence fee, which will also consider an alternative enforcement scheme.

Dowden is the third culture secretary in 12 months. His predecessor Morgan was appointed to the role in July 2019, and prior to that, it was held by Jeremy Wright.

The culture secretary is responsible for strategy and policy across the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and managing Brexit for the department.

Stephen Woodford, chief executive, Advertising Association, said: "We welcome the appointment of Oliver Dowden MP as secretary of state for digital, culture, media & sport and look forward to working closely with him and the team at DCMS to advance the position of advertising as a jewel in the crown of the UK’s £110bn creative industries sector. We would also like to thank Nicky Morgan and her team for their dedicated service on behalf of our country’s cultural and creative sector."