Culture secretary

Michelle Donelan replaces Nadine Dorries as UK Culture Secretary

Michelle Donelan has been appointed Secretary of State in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) by new Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Donelan has been MP for Chippenham, Wiltshire, since 2015. She joins DCMS from the Department for Education, where she served as Higher Education Minister from 2021-22 and served on the Education Select Committee.

She holds the record for the shortest tenure as secretary of state when she was briefly appointed head of the education department in July 2022 during the wave of ministerial resignations that followed the management by the former Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the Chris Pincher scandal. She served as education secretary for 36 hours before stepping down, saying Johnson had put cabinet members in an impossible position.

Donelan was previously Minister for Universities and Government Whip. She also acted as an unpaid Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, covering MP Kemi Badenoch’s maternity leave.

Before becoming an MP, Donelan had a career in marketing, with roles at Marie Claire magazine, the History Channel and World Wrestling Entertainment. She is said to have developed an interest in politics from an early age after being inspired by seeing Margaret Thatcher on television. She spoke at the Conservative Party Conference in 1999 at the age of 15.

Donelan is the 11th Culture Secretary since 2010. She comes at a crucial time for the sector as it grapples with the impacts of the cost of living crisis.