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Matt Hancock Replaces Karen Bradley as UK Culture Secretary in Cabinet Reshuffle

In Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest reshuffle of her cabinet, Matt Hancock, the MP for West Suffolk and ex-Minister of State for Digital, replaced Karen Bradley as Culture Secretary. Bradley was made Northern Ireland secretary.

Matt Hancock MP

According to Channel 4 News “she could be in charge of Direct Rule in a matter of weeks and one DUP source said the party would’ve preferred someone with more experience of Northern Ireland at a time like this”.

Writing on Twitter, Hancock said “Thrilled to become DCMS Secretary. Such an exciting agenda, so much to do, and great people. Can’t wait to get stuck in #DigitalCultureMediaSport”.

The Racing Post heralded the appointment as “good news for racing” as he is reportedly “one of the sport’s staunchest supporters in Parliament”. As the head of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport he holds responsibility for both horse racing and gambling.

Meanwhile, The Drum reported that the heads of the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), were both very happy with the appointment.

Paul Bainsfair, the head of the IPA, told The Drum that “Matt Hancock looks like a smart choice as Culture Secretary. He demonstrated a real interest in and a good grasp of digital media in his prior ministerial role. Technology and media are inextricably linked and we regard his appointment as a positive move”.

As Minister of State for Digital, a post he had held since July 2016, he was responsible for broadband, broadcasting, creative industries, cyber and the tech industry. He championed Britain’s growing technology industry as well as speaking out about fake news and the apparent dangers of social media.

Hancock previously served in numerous other roles, including paymaster general, minister of state for energy and minister for Portsmouth among others.

One of his first decisions will be about whether to allow the merger between Rupert Murdoch’s proposed £11.4bn takeover of Sky after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) publishes its recommendations.

21st Century Fox already owns 39% of Sky and, according to Bradley, “the proposed entity would have the third largest total reach of any news provider – lower only than the BBC and ITN – and would, uniquely, span news coverage on television, radio, in newspapers and online”.

Naomi Smith

Naomi is a freelance writer based in London, UK. She is studying for a Master's degree in Investigative Reporting at Birkbeck College. She can also be found writing about gaming and films at a90skid.com. Her hobbies include media reform, online video, writing short stories and travelling the world.