Culture secretary

Liz Truss appoints Michelle Donelan as UK Culture Secretary

New British Prime Minister Liz Truss has appointed Michelle Donelan as Secretary of State for Culture.

Donelan replaces Nadine Dorries, who resigned from her position on Tuesday morning. Dorries, a former actor and novelist who was nominated by former prime minister Boris Johnson, said Truss asked him to stay on as culture secretary but declined the offer. She had been in the job for less than a year.

Donelan, who previously served as higher education minister and education secretary, will now be responsible for the digital, culture, media and sports department. Among the main elements to be considered will be the possibility of continuing the privatization of Channel 4, which Johnson and Dorries had committed to despite criticism from the whole industry of this decision, as well as the review of BBC license fees. In addition to freezing licensing fees, which are a mandatory levy for anyone watching live TV on any network or device, Dorries had indicated she hoped to eventually scrap it altogether.

Although she appeared on many British shows, including “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here” and “Tower Block of Commons”, Dorries was almost universally hated in the television industry during her tenure, especially after a series of blunders. These apparently included not understanding how Channel 4 is funded (during a government committee she suggested it was taxpayer funded, when in fact it is funded by advertising, despite being publicly owned) and accuse Love Productions, the creators of “Tower Block of Commons” of rigging the unscripted show (Channel 4, which aired the show, discovered that was not the case after investigating ).

It remains to be seen whether Donelan, who dabbled in media and entertainment before becoming a politician, will fare better. Donelan reportedly briefly worked for The History Channel and for Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment in the marketing department.

Anticipating the change in management, producers’ body Pact last week sent an open letter to Liz Truss asking her to stop the privatization of Channel 4.

“We recognize that Channel 4 is not perfect, like all other organisations,” reads the letter, signed by more than 700 production companies. “However, advancing privatization plans in their current form would harm a thriving independent sector, deter voters and endanger Margaret Thatcher’s legacy. We urge you to reconsider these plans.