Becoming the tenth shadow culture secretary since Labour lost power in 2010, Jo Stevens will begin working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport immediately.

Stevens took to Twitter to share her optimism at assuming the role, asserting that the “Covid-19 crisis makes us value even more the everyday pleasures they [culture, media and sport] bring.”

While positivity is welcome at this difficult time, cultural organisations across the DCMS portfolio are struggling to find solutions to the deepening coronavirus problems – which Stevens will need to help ease.

Who is Jo Stevens?

Having studied Law at Manchester University, Stevens worked as people and organisation director at Thompsons Solicitors prior to seeking election.

Since becoming an MP in 2015 Stevens has served as both shadow solicitor general and shadow justice minister under Jeremy Corbyn’s administration. She also chairs the GMB Parliamentary Group, ensuring the voices of GMB members are heard in the House of Commons.

Outgoing culture secretary Tracy Brabin MP had certainly made a name for herself in the sector during what proved a brief spell. Her stock rose recently due to her campaigning for freelancers across the creative industries to receive Universal Basic Income during the Covid-19 crisis.

Shadow culture secretary targets Universal Basic Income for freelancers during pandemic

Stevens’ predecessors

Shadow culture secretaries since Labour lost power in 2010 have been:

Ben Bradshaw
Ivan Lewis
Harriet Harman
Chris Bryant
Michael Dugher
Maria Eagle
Kelvin Hopkins
Tom Watson
Tracy Brabin

Having made appointments to all key roles, Keir Starmer said his new top team will be “relentlessly focused on acting in the national interest to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding Labour so that it can win the next election.”

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