DCMS secretary role to change hands again as Morgan stands down

Written by Richard Johnstone and Sam Trendall on 1 November 2019 in News

Department will require fifth leader since start of last year as Loughborough MP opts to leave parliament

Credit: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

The Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport is set to get its third secretary of state in less than a year after Nicky Morgan announced that she would leave parliament at the forthcoming election.

Morgan (pictured above), who has been MP for Loughborough since 2010, announced yesterday that she would not stand for election on 12 December.

The culture secretary said "the abuse for doing the job of a modern MP" was one of the reasons for quitting after nine years in parliament.

Morgan, who was education secretary under David Cameron, said: "The clear impact on my family and the other sacrifices involved in, and the abuse for, doing the job of a modern MP can only be justified if, ultimately, parliament does what it is supposed to do – represent those we serve in all areas of policy, respect votes cast by the electorate and make decisions in the overall national interest."

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Morgan’s imminent departure will mean that DCMS will get a new secretary of state at the end of the year. Jeremy Wright was digital secretary until July, when he was replaced by Morgan after Boris Johnson was appointed prime minister. Wright had been in post for a year, having replaced Matt Hancock in July 2018 – who himself had only held the role since January 2018, replacing Karen Bradley.

Morgan’s replacement will not only be the fifth person to hold the role inside two years, but will also be the third secretary of state to work with DCMS permanent secretary Sarah Healey since she became the department’s top official in April.

A number of former ministers have also announced their decision not to stand at the election, including former home secretary Amber Rudd, who also served at the Department for Work and Pensions. Three-time cabinet minister Justine Greening and former chancellor Ken Clarke, who served in every Conservative government from 1979 to 2014, will also stand down.

Former Cabinet Office minister David Lidington, Theresa May’s de facto deputy when she was prime minister, is also among those leaving parliament, as are former ministers Alistair Burt, Claire Perry, Sir Oliver Letwin and Jo Johnson.

Among the Labour MPs who will not stand again are former paymaster general Geoffrey Robinson, ex-schools minister Stephen Twigg and former transport and environment minister Jim Fitzpatrick.

Liberal Democrats leaving the Commons include former party leader and Coalition-era business secretary Sir Vince Cable and former care minister Norman Lamb, the current chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee.


About the author

Richard Johnstone is deputy and online editor of PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World, where a version of this story first appeared. He tweets as @CSW_DepEd.


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