Prime minister Boris Johnson has as soon as once more shuffled round all the important thing Cupboard roles concerned with the know-how sector in his newest set of ministerial appointments.
On the Division for Digital, Tradition, Media and Sport (DCMS), Oliver Dowden takes over as secretary of state, changing Nicky Morgan, who had been within the job for a bit over six months.
Dowden was beforehand Cupboard Workplace minister, the place he was chargeable for digital authorities. The transfer to DCMS follows within the footsteps of Matt Hancock – now secretary of state for well being and social care – who trod the identical path in 2018.
In his new position, Dowden will take care of authorities coverage on the digital financial system, together with broadband, 5G, digital abilities, tech startups, digital identification, information safety, and the forthcoming Nationwide Information Technique.
Dowden will take care of a digital sector that contributes £400m to the UK every day, generated £149bn for the UK in 2018, and accounts for 7.7% of the general UK financial system, based on DCMS figures.
No particulars had been launched on the time of publication about junior ministerial adjustments, however it’s probably that Matt Warman will stay as digital minister below Dowden, a submit the previous know-how journalist has crammed since Johnson’s first ministerial appointments in July 2019.
Dowden’s former job as Cupboard Workplace minister has gone to Michael Gove, who was beforehand accountable for Brexit planning, and is seen by many observers because the de facto deputy prime minister. Gove turns into the sixth holder of the Cupboard Workplace submit because the 2015 Common Election, following Dowden, David Lidington, Damian Inexperienced, Ben Gummer and Hancock.
Gove will oversee the Authorities Digital Service (GDS) and the Crown Business Service, cyber safety, in addition to the not too long ago created position of authorities chief digital and knowledge officer, for which recruitment began in September final yr.
Jeremy Quin was appointed solely final month as a junior minister within the Cupboard Workplace, reporting on the time to Dowden, chargeable for GDS and cyber safety. He has additionally been reshuffled, changing into minister for defence procurement on the Ministry of Defence. It isn’t but clear who will take over from Quin because the junior minister beneath Gove, however whoever does so would be the eighth minister accountable for digital authorities since 2015.
Former worldwide improvement secretary Alok Sharma has changed Andrea Leadsom as secretary of state for enterprise, power and industrial technique, a task which has traditionally collectively led coverage on help for the UK’s synthetic intelligence (AI) sector, in addition to the digital points of the economic technique.
Johnson was bullish about the position of know-how in his election marketing campaign, promising funding in full-fibre broadband, AI, analysis and improvement, tech startups, and science, know-how, engineering and maths (STEM) training.
In a speech final month, Nicky Morgan promised that the brand new authorities can be “unashamedly” pro-technology, with plans to deal with guaranteeing a free and open web, defending the weak and guaranteeing security and safety, pro-innovation regulation, and sharing the advantages of tech extra broadly and pretty.
“The primary precept is that we’ll be an unashamedly pro-technology authorities in all that we do, as a result of we imagine that, harnessed correctly, know-how is an immense power for good,” she mentioned.