Oliver Dowden named culture secretary

It is first government reshuffle since Boris Johnson won election in December.

Dowden: MP for Hertsmere
Dowden: MP for Hertsmere

Oliver Dowden has replaced Nicky Morgan as the new culture secretary, becoming the eighth person to hold the position in six years.

The announcement came today (Thursday) following the first reshuffle of Boris Johnson's government since he won the election in December.

Morgan had been secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport since July 2019. Before her, the role was held by Jeremy Wright for about a year.

Dowden, who is Conservative MP for Hertsmere, was previously paymaster general and Cabinet Office minister since July 2019 and parliamentary secretary at the Cabinet Office from January 2018.

Earlier today, he tweeted about the "huge opportunities" in the technology, media and creative industries.

— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) February 13, 2020

Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the Advertising Association, welcomed the appointment. He added: "Advertising is a hugely successful engine of our economy. Every £1 spent on advertising sees a return of £6 in GDP, totalling over £142bn in 2018. We are also a powerhouse for growth in exports as well, with an increase of 18% in the last figures to over £6.9bn – the largest trade surplus in advertising services in Europe.

"As negotiations about our new relationship progress with our EU partners we must remember that the UK’s status as the global hub for advertising is dependent on a number of factors. These include access to the best talent from around the world and securing the flow of personal data between the UK and EU.

"These factors, along with the UK’s outstanding creativity, make us a global force in advertising and they must be protected as we move towards a new relationship with the EU and a new future on the world stage."

Paul Bainsfair, director general at the IPA, added that he hopes to look forward to "a period of stability in the department". He added: "We are also keen to share our agency stance on the complex online media space with him, particularly with regard to the microtargeting of political ads online."

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