Culture secretary

After that ? Nicky Morgan named new UK culture secretary

Nicky Morgan has been appointed UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson. She is the fourth holder in office since 2016, after Karen Bradley, Matt Hancock and recently Jeremy Wright.

Morgan is MP for Loughborough and served as Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities from July 2014 to July 2016. She is also chair of the powerful Treasury Select Committee.

Johnson has asked all new cabinet ministers to agree to Britain leaving the European Union with or without a deal on October 31. Morgan, however, has campaigned to stay in the European Union and says on his website: ‘I do not support leaving the EU without a deal as it would have serious repercussions on the economy, employers and household finances across the country and in my country. constituency.”

Late last year, she said she would refuse to serve in a Johnson-led government after accusing former Prime Minister Theresa May of “wrapping a suicide vest around the British constitution, and [handing] the detonator to [European Union chief negotiator] Michael Barnier”.

Asked on the BBC Today program last September if she would work for Johnson, she said: “I think it’s highly unlikely that I’ll be asked, but the answer is no. I wouldn’t serve in a Boris Johnson cabinet. .” Nonetheless, Morgan tweeted yesterday that it’s a “huge privilege to take on this fabulous role”. She did not immediately respond to request for comment.

As a Prominent Remainer (someone who does not support Brexit), Morgan may also find himself at odds with Munira Mirza who has been appointed director of the No 10 Policy Unit, a body of special advisers and civil servants based in Downing Street who reports directly to the Prime Minister. Mirza was previously Executive Director of Culture at King’s College, University of London.

Mirza is an ardent Brexiteer, telling the Briefings for Brexit website that “we are very heavily invested in EU arts programs; the EU also funds activities with non-EU countries and it would be very misleading to suggest that this is not the case, but its top priority tends to be alliances within EU member states . She served under Johnson during his tenure as Mayor of London (2008-16) as Deputy Mayor for Culture and Education.

Johnson and his cabinet are already facing calls from the Creative Industries Federation, a member body that represents UK arts and culture organisations, to resist a no-deal Brexit and proposed changes to the immigration system.

In an open letter to Johnson posted online earlier this week, Alan Bishop, the federation’s chief executive, said: “The success of the industry depends on attracting the best and brightest talent from around the world. Specifically, the industry is deeply concerned about the proposed wage threshold, which is far too blunt an instrument to judge the value of highly skilled and talented non-UK workers. Over 80% of our members would face difficulties if they were unable to hire such EEA workers on wages below £30,000. »

Bishop adds: “Alongside many other industries, we will continue to highlight the extreme damage that would be caused by a no-deal Brexit. The free movement of goods, services, capital and people has underpinned the success of the sector, and we urge all UK political party leaders to back a second referendum rather than withdraw from the EU.

Social media commenters also pointed out that Morgan said schoolchildren who focus largely on arts and human subjects limit their career choices.

In 2014, when launching Your Life, a campaign to increase the number of A-level math and physics students, she said, “If you didn’t know what you wanted to do… then arts and humanities were what you chose because they were useful, we were told, for all kinds of work. We now know that couldn’t be further from the truth. Let the subjects that keep young people’s options open be STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.