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Gov Appoints Nadine Dorries as UK Digital and Culture Secretary

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 (5:06 pm) - Score 2,256

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has today moved Oliver Dowden to be the Co-Party Chairman and appointed Nadine Dorries to replace him as the Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), who among other things is tasked with overseeing the roll-out of gigabit broadband.

Culture Secretary’s never seem to last very long in the job, although Oliver Dowden had managed to hold the post since February 2020, which is longer than most of his recent predecessors. By comparison, Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine was formerly the Government’s Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care. She also has a long history of working in health care and education style roles.

Suffice to say that Dorries will now face a very different portfolio at DCMS, where she will take responsibility for, among other things, 5G deployments and the £5bn Project Gigabit programme that aims to extend 1Gbps broadband speeds to reach at least 85% of UK premises by the end of 2025 – this also aspires to get “as close to 100% as possible.” The funding for this is exclusively focused on improving connectivity for those in the final 20% of hardest to reach homes (c.5-6 million premises).

Admittedly, on this front, Dorries might not have the best reputation with technology and network security related matters. Back in 2017 she ended up having to defend her cyber-security arrangements after revealing that she shared her login passwords with all her staff, which included “interns on exchange programmes” (here). Sadly, the practice of MPs sharing their log-ins did, at the time, seem to be rather widespread.

The Government’s cabinet reshuffle is currently ongoing, and thus it remains to be seen whether Matt Warman MP will retain his existing role as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital Infrastructure, or be moved elsewhere.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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23 Responses
  1. John says:

    Nadine Chuka Eubank Dorries.

    Brilliant, we’re all in great hands.

    1. Buggerlugz says:

      They’re all at it, thieving from the public coffers. Its what most MP’s do in they’re spare time these days! If it’s not that its handing companies they themselves have stakes in, or family members/friends lucrative government contracts.

  2. Richard says:

    I don’t trust anyone in this government.

    What an embarrassment the UK is in the world.

    It’s like the actual puppets from Spitting Image really are running the country.

    1. Buggerlugz says:

      The spitting image puppets would do a better job.

  3. Oggy says:

    This will not end well.

    She probably uses the same password for Just Eat as she does for his ministerial emails.

  4. Sam Perry says:

    Well thats me not getting FTTP anytime soon..

  5. Timmy Mallet says:

    From the great wikipedia:

    In October 2010, Dorries suggested that benefit claimants who made more than 35,000 postings on Twitter should be reported to the Department for Work and Pensions. On being told by the Bedfordshire on Sunday newspaper that one of her constituents was out of work because of ill health and had posted more than 37,000 tweets, Dorries told the newspaper that her constituent’s tweeting gave housebound disabled people a bad name.

    hah. Perfect choice for digital/cultural minister. I’d wager she doesn’t even know the difference between DSL and Fibre

    1. Buggerlugz says:

      Well, BT’s marketing dept also struggles, so……..

  6. Ig Og says:

    Nadine Dorries wouldn’t know the difference between a bit and a byte. 🙁

    1. Buggerlugz says:

      And her predecessor did?

    2. Peter says:

      Or left and right, up and down.

      A bit like giving the keys for a HGV to a 5yr old to drive through town.

    3. SP says:

      She knows how to bite an Ostrich anus though? wonder if that will help?

  7. anon says:

    Well, ultimately it’s all about Boris (and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to some extent) anyway. Other cabinet members only seem to matter when they screw up.

    In 2017, Worcerstershire County Council was in talks with Gigaclear to develop their FTTP network in parts of the county. It never happened, apparently because the council would not permit Gigaclear to work on the highways (without paying to close the roads first/ getting permits).

    Would be nice to think that the UK government would take this issue up with the Worcestershire County Council, and possibly offer extra funding for a Gigaclear FTTP network. This company have already rolled out their network in many other rural areas (where the councils have been more accommodating).

    I think the planning and approval of contracts is gonna have to be sped up, if the government is remotely serious about meeting their Gigabit coverage targets by 2025.

    1. Mark says:


      In the scenario you state I don’t think the Government should step in and provide extra funding. It’s clear that Gigaclear have accomodated other, more enlightened councils so get onto your elected representatives on the council and make them understand.

    2. anon says:

      Have you ever spoken to WCC? I doubt it. Solidly Tory and have been for ages. I don’t see the point in this comment, it’s just more fobbing off. Worcestershire is due to receive less money than surrounding counties from Project Gigabit, so why not bump this amount up?

    3. Fastman says:

      So why should gigaclear not have to follow the same requirements as any other operator .there are specific rules which are really clear and apply to everyone

  8. MrTruth says:

    Civil Servants run the country so this appointment won’t make any different.

    Are people stupid? you would say so by above comments.

    1. WonkoTheSaneUK says:

      “Civil Servants run the country so this appointment won’t make any different.”

      Indeed. I’ve always held the opinion that “Yes, Minister!” & “Yes, Prime Minister!” were actually docudramas (with a government-enforced laugh track to distract from the truth).

    2. anon says:

      I’m sure we all feel so much more enlightened by this comment. Surely MrTruth must have access to information that others don’t 😛

    3. cheesemp says:

      It may be civil servants running the show but minsters will a) still set policy (how well it is implemented who knows) b) still but into things (asking how X works, demanding to know where X Million has gone on the budget). While I’m sure they don’t make the big difference they like to think they do you still want someone competent to do it. After all we’ve all had bosses who micro manage or just shout and demand (why do I think this is usual for politicians). I suspect the best ones know what they don’t know and just make basic decisions within their grasp and keep out the day to day.

  9. Richard says:

    This and Liz Truss as foreign secretary

  10. Peter S says:

    Looks like Matt Warman Is off too

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