PM creates Department for Science, Innovation and Technology

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has created a new government department for Science, Innovation and Technology after a mini cabinet reshuffle. 

The move also sees former Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Michelle Donelan take on a new position as head of the department as her former position changes shape to cover just Culture, Media and Sport.

An announcement from 10 Downing Street about the change described the vision for the new department as ‘driving innovation that will deliver improved public services, create new better-paid jobs and grow the economy.’ 

George Freeman was appointed the Minister of State for the department, he tweeted that it was an ‘important day’ for the sector and said he was ‘hugely honoured to be the first Minister of State at the new UK Department of Science, Innovation and Technology.’ 

Other changes saw Lucy Frazer take over Donelan’s previous position, with its new name, whilst Grant Shapps became Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Kemi Badenoch added Business and Trade to her portfolio, and Greg Hands became the Conservative Party chairman to replace Nadhim Zahawi who was sacked following a tax scandal. 

Frazer was previously the housing and planning minister and has also spent time as the minister for transport since becoming an MP in 2015. 

The idea of a dedicated science and technology department has long been proposed by members of all parties, though former head of the DCMS Nadine Dorries said she is ‘sad’ to see the department be broken up as it is the ‘most effective in Whitehall.’ 

She tweeted: ‘Track record in tech, digital, gigabit roll out, telecoms, data speaks for itself.’ 

Work done by the department included the beginning of the government’s Project Gigabit which is seeking to connect hard to reach communities with superfast broadband with projects already underway in Cornwall and Cumbria.

Photo: Lauren Hurley / No 10 Downing Street (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


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