Prime minister Boris Johnson has as soon as once more shuffled round all the important thing Cupboard roles concerned with the expertise sector in his latest 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 little bit over six months.

Dowden was previously Cabinet Office minister, the place he was chargeable for digital authorities. The transfer to DCMS follows in 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 function, Dowden will take care of authorities coverage on the digital financial system, together with broadband, 5G, digital expertise, tech startups, digital identification, knowledge safety, and the forthcoming Nationwide Information Technique.

Dowden will take care of a digital sector that contributes £400m to the UK each day, generated £149bn for the UK in 2018, and accounts for 7.7% of the general UK financial system, in keeping with DCMS figures.

No particulars had been launched on the time of publication about junior ministerial modifications, however it’s doubtless that Matt Warman will remain as digital minister underneath Dowden, a put up the previous expertise 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 put up for the reason that 2015 Common Election, following Dowden, David Lidington, Damian Inexperienced, Ben Gummer and Hancock.

Gove will oversee the Authorities Digital Service (GDS) and the Crown Industrial Service, cyber safety, in addition to the just lately created function of government chief digital and information officer, for which recruitment began in September final yr.

Jeremy Quin was appointed only last month as a junior minister in the Cabinet Office, reporting on the time to Dowden, chargeable for GDS and cyber safety. He has additionally been reshuffled, turning 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 growth secretary Alok Sharma has changed Andrea Leadsom as secretary of state for enterprise, power and industrial technique, a job which has traditionally collectively led coverage on help for the UK’s synthetic intelligence (AI) sector, in addition to the digital aspects of the industrial strategy.

Johnson was bullish about the role of technology in his election campaign, promising funding in full-fibre broadband, AI, analysis and growth, tech startups, and science, expertise, engineering and maths (STEM) schooling.

In a speech final month, Nicky Morgan promised that the new government would be “unashamedly” pro-technology, with plans to give attention to 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 are going to be an unashamedly pro-technology authorities in all that we do, as a result of we imagine that, harnessed correctly, expertise is an immense power for good,” she mentioned.


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