The UK’s new prime minister Boris Johnson has overhauled all the important thing ministerial roles concerned with the know-how sector in his first set of Cabinet appointments.
At the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), former secretary of state Jeremy Wright has been sacked solely a year after his appointment. His substitute is Nicky Morgan, most not too long ago a backbencher and chair of the HM Treasury choose committee, and beforehand secretary of state for schooling.
Recently, Morgan has been co-chair of the Alternative Arrangements Commission, which produced a report ways to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit, which included the scope for technological solutions.
When Wright was appointed, he had no background in digital points, however has labored with the business and led on a lot of policies to spice up full-fibre broadband roll-out, 5G networking and digital abilities. The DCMS function additionally oversees coverage on tech startups.
During his marketing campaign to turn into chief of the Conservative Party, Johnson promised to ship full-fibre broadband throughout the UK by 2025, forward of the present goal of 2033 – at present only 7% of the country has full-fibre, or fibre to the premises (FTTP), in line with telecoms watchdog Ofcom. Morgan is prone to be charged with turning that un-costed marketing campaign dedication into coverage.
Margot James, digital minister at DCMS, resigned last week, and her substitute has but to be introduced.
At the Cabinet Office, Oliver Dowden has been promoted from his junior function as minister for implementation – the place he was in charge of digital government – to Cabinet Office minister. Dowden has been a supporter of the Government Digital Service (GDS) and his elevation to a Cabinet function may deliver a lift for GDS with a brand new spending assessment anticipated throughout this monetary 12 months, to set budgets for the following three years.
Andrea Leadsom has taken over as secretary of state for enterprise, vitality and industrial technique, changing Greg Clark, who collectively led coverage on assist for the UK’s synthetic intelligence sector, in addition to the digital aspects of the industrial strategy.
Matt Hancock stays as secretary of state for well being and social care, the place he’s pushing for a major digital overhaul of the NHS, and not too long ago established a brand new organisation, NHSX, to run know-how coverage throughout the sector.
Industry commerce physique TechUK has referred to as on Johnson to prioritise digital coverage, and to keep away from what it believes could be a catastrophic no-deal Brexit.
“TechUK’s members have repeatedly warned of the damaging impact that a no-deal Brexit would have on their business and we would urge Boris Johnson to put all the talent and resources at his disposal to the task of avoiding this outcome,” stated TechUK CEO Julian David.
“Digital innovation is driving a fourth industrial revolution that holds huge opportunities for the UK to increase its productivity and create the high-skill, high-wage economy the Prime Minister aspires to. Technology also holds the key to solving some of the greatest challenges we are facing, from an ageing society to the climate emergency. The new Prime Minister should put digital at the heart of his government to turbocharge the economy, transform public services and drive sustainability.”