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Musical chairs

Starter for 10. Who is the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport?

By James Evelegh

Musical chairs

If you’re planning a media conference anytime over the next twelve months and are looking for a keynote speaker, here’s a top tip.

Do not, whatever you do, ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Because, if you do, the chances are next to zero that they will still be in situ by the time your conference comes around.

This week, the twelfth secretary of state with responsibility for ‘media’ in the last thirteen years was unveiled. Lucy Frazer, in case you were wondering.

Is the ‘media’ portfolio that unimportant that it doesn’t matter who’s nominally in charge of it? No sooner has one minister got their legs under the table than they’re whisked off to another job.

How can serious, consistent, long term policy be developed and important legislation shepherded through parliament when the minister in charge is constantly changing? It’s no way to run a department.

The roll call of minsters since 2010 might have included people who could have done a great job, but none of them were in the role long enough for us to find out.

Those that have come and quickly gone:

  • Jeremy Hunt (2010)
  • Maria Miller (2012)
  • Sajid Javid (2014)
  • John Whittingdale (2015)
  • Karen Bradley (2016)
  • Matthew Hancock (2018)
  • Jeremy Wright (2018)
  • Nicky Morgan (2019)
  • Oliver Dowden (2020)
  • Nadine Dorries (2021)
  • Michelle Donelan (2022)
  • Lucy Frazer (2023)

Shocking, really, but thank you one and all for your fleeting service.

(PS. We’re finalising the mailing list for the Jan/Feb issue of InPublishing magazine. Inserted with this issue will be the new Publishing Partners Guide – register here to be added to the free mailing list.)

You can catch James Evelegh’s regular column in the InPubWeekly newsletter, which you can register to receive here.