Chris Andrew
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Oliver Dowden becomes the latest minister to oversee GDS

Oliver Dowden has been tasked with overseeing the Government Digital Service after being appointed Minister for Implementation.

Dowden succeeds Caroline Nokes, who spent just seven months in the role after replacing Ben Gummer when he lost his seat in last year’s general election.

The MP for Hertsmere will be responsible for the Crown Commercial Service and developing the government’s cyber and resilience strategy.

Russ Shaw, the founder of Tech London Advocates, warned last week that the “relatively rapid” changeover of politicians represented a threat to GDS.

“If you have a succession of leadership changes I think it makes it really difficult to get in and understand what’s required to ensure that the digital service is truly first class,” he told NS Tech.

Dowden was made a Commander of the British Empire in 2015 in recognition of his record of public service. He had previously worked as David Cameron’s deputy chief of staff and prior to that in public relations.

“I am delighted to have been appointed as minister for implementation at the Cabinet Office,” he said. “It’s an honour to be able to serve Hertsmere and the country by helping to ensure that the government delivers on the things that matter to people.”