More musical chairs as Frazer replaces Donelan at UK Culture Department

Lucy Frazer

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has triggered a new top level reshuffle which sees Michelle Donelan replaced by Lucy Frazer as head of the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS). Frazer is the seventh politician to be handed the culture brief since 2018. Her predecessor held the post for just six months – but now becomes secretary of state for the new Science, Innovation and Technology Department.

Not much is known about Frazer’s views on the media. A former barrister, she has been hopping between briefs – having headed the Housing Department, the Transport department and spending time as Financial Secretary to the Treasury. Her one media-related comment was to express support for UK’s film and TV industry tax breaks.

Although the previous incumbent Donelan was only in the job for six months, she will be remembered for scrapping plans to privatise Channel 4. She also adopted a more conciliatory stance on BBC funding than her own predecessor Nadine Dorries.

Assuming Frazer sticks around for more than a few months, the future of Channel 4 and the BBC will be top of her to-do list – alongside further progress of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill. One area she no longer has to think about is technology, which is moving out of the DCMS into Donelan’s new department.

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