The MP for Hertsmere has been announced as the second culture secretary of the Prime Minister’s tenure in Downing Street. Dowden succeeds Nicky Morgan who held the role both as an MP and since December’s election as a peer.
The new culture secretary joins the DCMS having served as Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General since July.
A decade of DCMS disruption
Since the 2010 general election, the role of Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been held by:
Jeremy Hunt (with additional Olympics portfolio)
Nicky Morgan (again)
Morgan departs having unveiled what she described as the government’s “biggest ever single investment in cultural infrastructure, local museums and neighbourhood libraries,” which is set to see £250 million invested over the next five years.
Her spell at the DCMS also saw a 4.1% rise in ‘real terms funding’ for the department announced in the first Spending Round from chancellor Sajid Javid – who has also left the Government’s front bench today. This commitment, it subsequently transpired, only represented “increasing the department’s resource budget in line with inflation.”
The task facing Dowden is sizeable (if he is afforded enough time to make an impact), as ALVA CEO Bernard Donoghue perfectly distilled in this Tweet.
I look forward to welcoming the new Secretary of State for @DCMS to their role when they are appointed later today. They will be the 9th in 10 years. #UKtourism is our 5th biggest industry, 3rd largest employer and creates new jobs in every part of the UK. Including Whitehall.
— Bernard Donoghue (@bernarddonoghue) February 13, 2020