The UK Gets a New Culture Secretary in Theresa May’s Emergency Cabinet Reshuffle

Jeremy Wright is the third culture secretary to be appointed under the current prime minister.

The UK's new culture minister Jeremy Wright on February 20, 2018 in London, England. Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images.

Following a flurry of high-profile resignations over the UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s approach to Brexit negotiations and a shuffling of the deck in the cabinet, the UK has found itself with a new culture minister.

The Attorney General Jeremy Wright has been promoted to the position of Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. He emerged in the role following a game of political musical chairs that bumped former culture secretary Matt Hancock to health secretary after just six months.

A member of the British parliament since 2005, Wright is a former criminal lawyer who currently represents the constituency of Kenilworth and Southam. He is the third culture secretary since May became Prime Minister. Wright was replaced as attorney general by Geoffrey Cox.

Very excited to be starting a new job this morning as Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport,” Wright posted to his Facebook account, adding that it is “a department whose work has a huge impact on our heritage, the things we enjoy now and on our national future.”

Critics of the appointment, including the Labour Party’s shadow culture secretary Tom Watson, have been quick to question Wright’s suitability for the job, as he hasn’t tweeted since 2015 and his cultural interests seem to be limited to James Bond films, according to his personal biography on the Conservative Party website, as well as the potential power of music to rehabilitate prisoners.

Multiple ministers, including the Brexit minister David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, resigned yesterday in a shocking response to Theresa May’s new “soft Brexit” approach announced at the end of last week. After the triggering of article 50 last year, the UK is due to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019. But a viable agreement for how trade will continue between the UK and the EU—a conclusion that will have a large effect on the international art market—has yet to be finalized.


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