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February 7, 2023

Lucy Frazer replaces Michelle Donelan as Culture Secretary

Frazer has made few interventions in DCMS' policy area during her political career so far.

By Bron Maher

Lucy Frazer has been appointed the new Culture Secretary, taking over from Michelle Donelan.

However, Donelan appears to have taken part of her remit with her: Frazer has been appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport – losing the “Digital” mandate that appeared in Donelan’s title.

Frazer, a KC and the MP for South East Cambridgeshire, joins DCMS from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Frazer appears to have made few interventions in DCMS’ policy area during her political career. A Press Gazette search of Hansard, Google and Twitter for Frazer’s statements on the Online Safety Bill, the BBC, the licence fee, Channel 4 privatisation and the Digital Markets Unit all returned either no results or only passing mentions.

However, as Justice Minister in 2018 she did host a roundtable with the News Media Association to invite views on open justice and media access to courts, saying: “As we continue to reform our courts and tribunals, it is important that we work with the media to ensure access is maintained and, where possible, enhanced.”

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Michelle Donelan moves to become secretary of state for a new department, named the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. Appointed by Liz Truss and retained until now by Rishi Sunak, the most significant policy decision of Donelan’s tenure will likely be the decision to drop the sale of Channel 4.

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It is unclear whether Frazer or Donelan will have responsibility for the Online Safety Bill, which had fallen within DCMS’ “digital” remit.

[Read more: Government confirms it will not put Channel 4 up for sale]

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Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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