Sector loses dedicated minister as charities brief is reintegrated back into sport role

Three weeks after Baroness Barran was moved to the Department for Education, the charities brief has been allocated to Nigel Huddleston, who also holds responsibility for tourism, heritage and the Commonwealth Games

Nigel Huddleston
Nigel Huddleston

Nigel Huddleston, the sport and tourism minister, has had the charities brief added to his list of responsibilities.

It means the sector returns to the position of not having its own dedicated minister after Baroness Barran was redeployed three weeks ago to the Department for Education as part of the long-running government reshuffle.

Barran's predecessor, Mims Davies, spent eight months as Minister for Sport and Civil Society before being moved to the Department for Work and Pensions in July 2019.

Tracey Crouch held the same dual role before Davies, until she quit government in protest at its stance on fixed-odds betting terminals.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has today updated its list of ministerial responsibilities and handed the charities brief to Huddleston on top of his sport, tourism and heritage roles. He also has ministerial responsibility for next year's Commonwealth Games, due to be held in Birmingham.

The appointment will be seen by many in the sector as a further downgrade of the importance of charities within government.

Huddleston, who has been the Conservative MP for Mid Worcestershire since 2015, has held his existing post since February last year.

Before entering parliament, Huddleston worked as a consultant and as industry head of travel for Google.

He does not appear to have any obvious voluntary sector connections, based on his constituency website or register of parliamentary interests.

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