Britain Has Yet Another Tech Czar in Latest Cabinet Reshuffle
By Sam Shead
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed Nicky Morgan to oversee the nation’s technology sector on behalf of the U.K. Government.
The job—officially known as the secretary of state for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)—has become something of a revolving door, with three people holding the sprawling brief in the last two years.
Morgan, previously chair of the House of Commons Treasury Committee, replaces Jeremy Wright, who was in the role for a little over a year. Wright took over from Hancock, who spent less than seven months in the role he inherited from Karen Bradley.
A recurring theme is that none of the ministers have had a particularly strong background in tech, and sadly, the same can be said for 46-year-old Morgan, who studied law at university before going on to become a solicitor and eventually a politician.
The most memorable thing to be introduced by any of the ministers during their tenure is arguably the Matt Hancock app. The project to share updates from the life and work of the West Suffolk MP was largely met with confusion and amusement.
The title of the department hints at its confusing range of responsibilities, which include Britain’s digital economy, regulation of broadcasting and telecoms, funding for public museums and galleries, and the gambling industry.
Chi Onwurah, shadow minister for industrial strategy, science and innovation told Forbes: “For better or worse, technology is the driving force in economic, social and the cultural change. The Tories have been incapable of taking the long-term evidence-based approach to match the nature of the digital revolution we are undergoing. The revolving door at DCMS suggests nothing will change in that respect.”
But well-known tech investor Brent Hoberman, who cofounded Lastminute.com before launching a startup accelerator called Founders Factory, said he was “pleased” to see Morgan appointed to the role.
“The sector continues to achieve record investment and we’re optimistic under Nicky the U.K. will continue to be a place to develop brilliant innovations and world leading tech.”