Matt Hancock has been promoted to UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Cabinet as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, replacing Karen Bradley, who has moved to Northern Ireland Secretary.
Hancock was appointed Minister of State for Digital in July 2016 in May’s first Cabinet following her election as Leader of the Conservative Party.
Hancock is the MP for West Suffolk, having been elected in the 2010 general election. From 2010, he served as a backbencher on the Public Accounts Committee and the Standards & Privileges Committee.
Hancock was appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General on 11 May 2015. He was Minister of State for Energy between 2014 and 2015 alongside the portfolio of Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise and Minister for Portsmouth. He was Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise 2013 to 2014 and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Skills 2012 to 2013. He oversaw the expansion of Apprenticeships, and championed the digital transformation of Government.
His role as Minister of State for Digital saw him responsible for broadband, broadcasting, creative industries, cyber and the tech industry.
Before entering politics, Hancock worked for his family business, as an economist at the Bank of England, and as Chief of Staff to the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. He holds degrees from Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
In a tweet, 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”
High in Hancock’s in tray will be deliberating on the proposed takeover of Sky by 21st Century Fox. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in early December 2017 pushed back the date for its provisional findings into the planned takeover until January 2018. It had previously said the findings would be published in December, but has now said this will happen in mid-January.
Bradley had referred Fox’s proposed acquisition of the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own to CMA on public interest grounds. The CMA is examining how the deal would impact media plurality and broadcasting standards in the UK.
A final report was set to be sent to Bradley by March 2018. The proposed £11.7 billion (€13.6bn) takeover dates back to December 2016, but has been delayed by two investigations, first by media and telecoms regulator Ofcom and now the CMA. A separate review by the European Commission has already cleared the takeover. Hancock may additionally wish to consider the implications for the deal of Disney’s planned acquisition of 21st Century Fox.