Former tech journo Matt Warman appointed digital minister

Written by Sam Trendall on 29 July 2019 in News
News

Boston and Skegness MP joins DCMS ministerial line-up

Credit: UK Parliament/CC BY 3.0

Former technology journalist Matt Warman has been chosen as the UK’s new minister for digital.

He was appointed on Friday and will replace Margot James – who resigned last week, after voting against the government and supporting attempts to prevent the prorogation of parliament

Warman (pictured above) arrives at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport with more digital credentials than many of his peers, having spent many years as a technology journalist at the Daily Telegraph.

He left the newspaper in 2015 when he was elected to parliament as the Conservative MP for Boson and Skegness – a seat he retained in the 2017 election. 

His website says that, during his time as a journalist, he was responsible for “leading coverage of Facebook, Google and Apple, and covering the launch of products including iPhones, the BBC iPlayer and the Apple Watch, as well as interviewing key figures including the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web”.


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Since joining parliament, Warman has campaigned for better broadband speeds and more investment in connectivity infrastructure in and around his Lincolnshire constituency. He has also criticised internet service providers for making misleading claims about the connection speeds they can offer.

On being appointed to his new role, Warman said on his Facebook page: “Honoured to be asked by prime minister Boris Johnson to join the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as parliamentary under secretary of state looking after digital. It’s a hugely important area for all our lives, as I know from my focus on improving broadband across Boston and Skegness, and it provides a hugely important part of the overall economy. Looking forward to getting stuck in.”

The other key digital ministerial post that was vacated during Johnson’s reshuffle – the minister for implementation role – is still yet to be definitively filled. The position, which includes oversight of the Government Digital Service and Crown Commercial Service, was previously held by Oliver Dowden.

Following Dowden’s promotion to become minister for the Cabinet Office, several MPs have joined the department as junior ministers. The Cabinet Office website indicates that some of these have yet been assigned a set of duties – while others appear to have been assigned responsibilities that are a duplicate of those held by existing ministers.

PublicTechnology asked the Cabinet Office for clarification on which minister would be responsible for GDS and the rest of the minister for implementation’s portfolio and was advised that this clarity would be provided in the coming days.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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