Oversight of digital government changes hands again as Quin appointed at Cabinet Office

Conservative member for Horsham – who takes on GDS brief for the second time – becomes fourth minister to do so in two months

Credit: UK Parliament/CC BY 3.0

The digital government brief has been handed to its fourth different minister in less than two months, following the appointment of Jeremy Quin as minister for the Cabinet Office.

The MP for Horsham directly replaces Chris Philp who, after several years serving in a range of junior ministerial roles, was rewarded with just an 11-day stint in the cabinet – before being returned to the back benches by the new prime minister Rishi Sunak.

Quin, meanwhile, returns to the Cabinet Office having previously been a junior minister at the department from December 2019 to February 2020 – a role in which he oversaw the work of the Government Digital Service.

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Having, once again, taken the ministerial reins of GDS – as well as sister agency the Central Digital and Data Office – Quin becomes the fourth person to do so in less than two months. September began with Heather Wheeler holding responsibility for government’s digital agencies, before Brendan Clarke-Smith and then Philp had short spells in charge.

The reshuffle undertaken by Sunak means the that the digital government brief has changed hands 14 times in just over seven years – and that Quin is the first person to hold the position twice.

His portfolio also includes the wider civil service reform agenda, government property, the Crown Commercial Service, Government Communications Service, and civil service HR.

After a 25-year career in corporate finance, Quin was first elected to parliament in 2015. Before being appointed to the Cabinet Office, he spent served as minister for defence procurement and, latterly, minister for policing.


Sam Trendall

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