Nicky Morgan has been appointed digital and culture secretary as part a wide-ranging reshuffle which saw her predecessor Jeremy Wright ousted from the Cabinet.
Morgan takes over from Wright, who had served in the position for just a year, after being demoted to the backbenches from her role as education secretary in 2016.
In a statement she said it was an “enormous privilege” to be leading the department, adding: “DCMS’s dynamic and much-loved sectors are at the heart of what makes the UK a great place to live, work and do business.
“They are our global calling card, encouraging investment, driving innovation and making the UK a country people around the world want to visit. I will be working hard to make sure the future for our world-leading sectors is a bright one.”
Some observers had tipped Damian Collins, the chair of the digital, culture, media and sport select committee, to take on the role. Collins had backed Boris Johnson’s campaign, having previously signalled his support for a second referendum.
Asked last year whether he would like the job, Collins said he would be “honoured to be asked”. But the New Statesman reported his friends believe that Johnson’s decision to appoint Dominic Cummings, the director of the Vote Leave campaign, as a special adviser scuppered Collins’ aspirations.
In an interview with the New Statesman last year, Collins described Cumming’s decision to leak the DCMS report into fake news as “a ridiculous thing for him to do” and “typically attention-seeking”.
Elsewhere in the Cabinet, Oliver Dowden, the minister formerly in charge of the Government Digital Service has been promoted to minister for the Cabinet Office, while Matt Hancock remains health secretary. Margot James, who stood down as digital minister last week, is yet to be replaced.