Charities minister moved on in government reshuffle

Baroness Barran becomes academies minister while the sector awaits news on her successor

Baroness Barran
Baroness Barran

Baroness Barran, the Minister for Civil Society, has been moved to the Department for Education as part of the government’s latest reshuffle. 

Barran, who has been appointed academies minister, had been charities minister for just over two years.

Her time at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and saw little in the way of major cross-sector policy announcements. 

But she did oversee the introduction of a new Charities Bill to parliament, which is designed to reduce red tape for charities, and legislation to expand the dormant assets scheme. 

Charity leaders thanked Barran for her time in the role. 

Matt Hyde, chief executive of the Scouts, said Barran had been “an incredibly supportive and committed minister”. 

Richard Sagar, policy manager at the Charity Finance Group, thanked Barran for her work in the role and said: “I just hope the new minister is as passionate and dedicated to the cause.”

Sarah Vibert, interim chief executive at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said it had been “a pleasure working with you and your team”. 

Barran thanked charities and social enterprises for all the work they do, particularly over the past 18 months. 

“It has been the most difficult time and you have stepped up and delivered for our communities,” she said. “Supported of course by brilliant volunteers whose generosity has been extraordinary.”

The government was yet to make an announcement on any possible replacement for Barran when this story was published. 

Two Conservative MPs have been appointed to roles at the DCMS but their responsibilities are yet to be announced. 

Chris Philp, the MP for Croydon South, has been appointed as a parliamentary under secretary and Julia Lopez, the MP for Hornchurch and Upminster, has been appointed minister of state. 

Lopez appears unlikely to be given the charities brief because the role has been held by individuals with the more junior parliamentary secretary title since 2010. 

Further ministerial appointments are expected to be made over the next few days. 

Nadine Dorries was appointed head of the DCMS last week. 

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