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Dorries new DCMS Secretary; Dowden demoted

September 16, 2021

By Colin Mann

Nadine Dorries, MP for Mid Bedfordshire, has been appointed Secretary of State at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) following a wider than expected reshuffle by Prime Minister Boris Johnson of his Cabinet. She replaces Oliver Dowden, who has been named Minister without Portfolio within the Cabinet Office, effectively a demotion.

Dorries was previously outside the Cabinet as Minister of State for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety.

Dorries’ most notorious involvement in broadcasting issues occurred in December 2012 when she was suspended by the Conservative Party for abandoning Parliament for a fortnight to appear on reality TV show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, sitting as an Independent MP until May 2013. She is also a best-selling author.

Dowden was thought to have performed well during the pandemic and had been tipped for promotion or switch to a more prestigious portfolio. His demotion came on the day he was supposed to deliver a keynote speech at the Royal Television Society Convention, setting out the benefits a potential change in ownership could bring to public service broadcaster Channel 4.

Dorries will now take on responsibility of such a consultation, as well as the wider role of public service broadcasting in the UK, and the appointment off a new Chair for sector regulator Ofcom.

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