Whittingdale in as Culture Secretary


Former Chair of the Commons Culture Committee John Whittingdale OBE (pictured) has been appointed as the new Culture Secretary as part of the Cabinet reshuffle that forms the new Conservative Government.

As David Cameron revealed the first all-Tory Cabinet since 1992 (it still feels queasily surreal typing that), Sajid Javid was promoted to Business Secretary-probably a good move given that his interest in arts and culture seemed perfunctory at best. Javid also defended ticketing touts as “classic entrepreneurs”.

Much has been made of Whittingdale’s views of the BBC in the last few days following comments last year that the license fee was “worse than poll tax”, though he has also said that it is likely to survive until at least the 2020’s. The BBC’s Royal Charter is up for review next year and Whittingdale will oversee the negotiations. This has naturally resulted in hyperbolic (but perhaps not entirely inaccurate) newspaper reports of an impending “war” between the Government and the BBC.

David Cameron returned to Downing Street as Prime Minister last week, defying all pre-election polls and securing an unexpected majority victory for the Conservatives with 330 seats.

Commenting on the new Government, UK Music CEO Jo Dipple said: “We look forward to working with the next Government and Parliament to support the UK music industry across the core areas set out by our manifesto for 2015, which identified a strong copyright framework, access to finance and fiscal incentives, skills pipeline, international growth strategy and better regulation based on good evidence as the five headline areas which require specific focus in order to sustain its £3.8 billion contribution to the UK economy”.

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