Matt Hancock becomes culture secretary in latest May reshuffle

The MP for West Suffolk will have responsibility for the Office for Civil Society

Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock has been promoted to culture secretary in Prime Minister Theresa May’s reshuffle.

Hancock, who moves up from digital minister within the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, replaces Karen Bradley, who became Northern Ireland secretary.

In his new role, Hancock will again assume responsibility for the Office for Civil Society, which he had for a year as Minister for the Cabinet Office under David Cameron’s government before it was moved by May to the DCMS.

As Cabinet Office minister, Hancock provoked outcry in the sector when he attempted to introduce a clause in all government grant agreements that would prevent charities from using the funds for lobbying.

The policy was subsequently put on hold before being significantly watered down after pressure from voluntary sector bodies.

Hancock, who has been the MP for West Suffolk since the 2010 election, has held other ministerial roles in skills, business and energy.

Aidan Warner, external relations manager at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said Hancock was "dynamic, determined and full of ideas", and the sector looked forward to hearing more about his vision for charities and volunteering.

"The important lesson to take from the anti-advocacy clause is that he was willing to compromise and work with us to come to a positive solution for the sector," said Warner.

May’s reshuffle is expected to continue today with the appointment of junior ministers.

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