The new ministers in the recently formed government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have been appointed, with Jeremy Hunt named Culture Secretary and Ed Vaizey joining him in the department as Culture Minister.
Conservative MP for South West Surrey, Hunt served as the Shadow Culture Secretary from 2007 until the general election. Speaking about his appointment, he said: “I am very pleased to have been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport. It is a wonderful moment for me personally, having followed this portfolio for the last two and a half years. Our sectors – particularly creative industries, culture and tourism – are vital elements in the UK’s economic recovery. And the successful delivery of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London gives us a once-in-a-lifetime chance to showcase the country to the world in what will, quite literally, be the greatest show on Earth. I know there is an incredible appetite for change across the country and I want the department to be at the forefront of making it happen.”
Hunt has already indicated that the DCMS will not be immune to the budgetary savings being sought by the new government; since being appointed to the role he has primed civil servants to explore how the department could best absorb a possible £66million of cuts.
Vaizey, the MP for Wantage and Didcot since 2005, worked with Hunt as the Shadow Culture and Creative Industries Minister from 2006-2010.
Hunt and Vaizey are joined in the new look DCMS by John Penrose (Minister for Tourism and Hugh Robertson (Minister for Sport and the Olympics).
Commenting on the appointments, Nica Burns, President of the Society of London Theatre said: “We welcome the appointment of Jeremy Hunt, Ed Vaizey and their team at the Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport. We know from Ed Vaizey’s weekly Arts email how interested and engaged the team is with the Arts. We will work constructively with them to maintain London’s place as the theatre capital of the world. We particularly welcome Jeremy’s recognition that the creative industries, culture and tourism – all of which are encompassed by the theatre industry – are vital elements to the UK’s economic recovery.”