It goes on, Dorries! Liz Truss is backing the Culture Secretary to stay in her job under the next Tory leader… if she wants to
- Liz Truss will keep Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries if she becomes Prime Minister
- Foreign minister widely expected to emerge victorious over Rishi Sunak
- On Monday, Truss told her allies that Ms Dorries was guaranteed a job if she wanted it
- Ms Dorries had warned the BBC that the license fee needed to be reformed
Liz Truss is hoping to persuade Nadine Dorries to stay on as a militant culture secretary, if she becomes the next prime minister, due to “unfinished business” with the BBC and tech giants.
The Foreign Secretary, widely expected to emerge victorious over Rishi Sunak when the result of the Tory leadership race is announced next Monday, has told his allies Ms Dorries is guaranteed to keep her job – if she wants to.
Since being appointed by Boris Johnson last September, Ms Dorries has warned the BBC that the license fee must be reformed as ‘the days of public television are over’, called for the privatization of Channel 4, oversaw the sale of Chelsea Football Club and advocated moving arts funding to the regions.
Ms Dorries is also involved in legislation aimed at reducing the power of social media giants, including the Online Safety Bill, which will impose a duty of care on tech giants to protect users from illegal content or detrimental.
Liz Truss hopes to persuade Nadine Dorries to stay on as combative culture secretary, if she becomes the next prime minister, due to ‘unfinished business’ with the BBC and tech giants
The law, which will give regulator Ofcom the power to fine them up to 10% of their annual global turnover or even prevent them from being accessible in the UK, has raised concerns among supporters of free speech, as companies will be required to limit content even if it is not illegal.
It could potentially cover up remarks such as Mr Johnson’s 2018 comment that Muslim women wearing burkas looked like ‘letterboxes’, but Ms Dorries, a staunch ally of Mr Johnson, offered amendments to strengthen the protection of freedom of the press.
Its Department of Culture, Media and Sport is also drafting legislation to force companies such as Google and Facebook to pay newspapers and other media outlets for the use of their stories.
The plans respond to growing concerns that tech companies are dominating online advertising, to the detriment of consumers and businesses. With every poll suggesting Miss Truss holds an unassailable lead over Rishi Sunak, the Foreign Secretary has spent much of the past fortnight debating the key Cabinet and No 10 appointment with advisers.
Like Ms Dorries, Ben Wallace is also set to remain defense secretary in recognition of the “grip” he has exerted on Britain’s response to the war in Ukraine.
A source said: “There was a lot of ‘3D chess’ being played. Only two names went to the first draft in the same positions they already held and remained there – Nadine and Ben. Nadine in particular has a lot of unfinished work on her desk.’ Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, a political soulmate of Miss Truss, is described as ‘nailed’ for the role of Chancellor, while Attorney General Suella Braverman is set to be Home Secretary.
A source said: ‘Liz wants to unite the party and have the best players on the pitch. Rishi has plenty of talented backing and many of them will be recruited, but don’t expect roles for those who really go for Liz in the media.
- Miss Truss has pulled out of an interview with Nick Robinson which was due to air on BBC1 tonight. His team said they could “spare no more time”. Mr Sunak was grilled by Mr Robinson earlier this month.