Charities react as Morgan named culture secretary in Cabinet reshuffle

Sector leaders welcome a host of appointments as Nicky Morgan replaces Jeremy Wright at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Nicky Morgan (Photograph: Tolga Akment/AFP/Getty Images)
Nicky Morgan (Photograph: Tolga Akment/AFP/Getty Images)

The sector has welcomed Nicky Morgan to her new role after she was appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport by the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

Johnson also appointed Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West, to the role of Secretary of State for International Development as part of his Cabinet reshuffle.

The charity tax minister Robert Jenwick has been promoted to Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, but it is not yet known who will replace him at the Treasury.

The charities minister Mims Davies has not yet been moved from her role, which she has held since November. A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said they could not say whether Davies would be replaced or would remain in post.

Morgan, who has previously served as education secretary, tweeted last night that it was "an enormous privilege to take on this fabulous role". She succeeds Jeremy Wright.

Vicky Browning, the chief executive of charity leaders body Acevo, congratulated Morgan on her appointment.

"Many, myself included, felt that Jeremy Wright never fully engaged with the civil society aspect of his brief," Browning said. "I hope that Nicky Morgan will work with Acevo and other civil society organisations to build a stronger, more impactful partnership between the social sector and government."

A spokesman for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations said the umbrella body looked forward to working with Morgan to "maximise the potential of the voluntary sector and show the impact volunteering has in everything from social care to conservation and from homelessness to heritage".

The spokesman said: "The government already has a solid blueprint for empowering charities in the form of the Civil Society Strategy and we hope she’ll be able to continue promoting this agenda throughout government. We’ll also be making clear the very real dangers of a no-deal Brexit for charities’ work."

Sharma has taken over the role of international development secretary after the departure of Rory Stewart, who ran against Johnson for leadership of the Conservative Party and stepped down as a result of Johnson’s victory.

The development charity Christian Aid paid tribute to Stewart, saying it was grateful for his commitment to "addressing the injustice of the climate emergency" as well as his focus on localisation and "putting those on the front line of the fight against poverty in the driving seat".

Stephanie Draper, chief executive of the international development umbrella group Bond, said: "We look forward to working with Alok Sharma. We urge the incoming secretary of state to continue to champion a poverty-focused development agenda that supports the Sustainable Development Goals and works to reach the world’s poorest and most marginalised people by prioritising good quality aid and development."

Tim Wainwright, chief executive of WaterAid, welcomed Sharma and urged him to "do what his predecessors have failed to do" by taking action to provide more people with access to water and sanitation.

In a tweet last night, Sharma said he was "hugely honoured" to have been appointed.

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