Security Minister Karen Bradley has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, following the sacking of John Whittingdale by new Prime Minister Theresa May.
The MP for Staffordshire Moorlands will take up the post immediately after the departure of Whittingdale, who has became something of a bogey figure for the BBC during the recent negotiations over the Corporation’s charter.
Whittingdale was keen to drive a hard bargain with the BBC and made many public declarations about the need to curb high-rating BBC shows such as Strictly Come Dancing.
Because he was reported to be seeking a much more punitive charter and financial settlement, BBC strategists changed tack mid-negotiation and concluded the financial aspect of the licence fee settlement directly with the Treasury and Number 10.
A whoop of joy went up in the BBC newsroom when the news of Whittingdale’s sacking was announced, according to Corporation sources.
The politician was also thwarted in his bid to force the BBC to publish the salaries of talent paid more than £150,000 following a reported intervention by David Cameron, who had been lobbied heavily by BBC director-general Tony Hall in the tortuous negotiations leading up to the White Paper.
So it is perhaps little surprise that one of the BBC’s leading personalities, Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, also expressed his, erm, condolences about the news:
John Whittingdale has been sacked as culture secretary. What a shame!
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 14, 2016
Also expressing delight was impressionist Rory Bremner:
Gosh. Gove, Hunt, Whittingdale Osborne gone. Is it Christmas Day? *checks calendar*
— Rory Bremner (@rorybremner) July 14, 2016
Whittingdale was also unpopular with Radio Times readers after it emerged that Government officials failed to read at least 6,000 responses from the magazine’s readers during the consultation into the BBC’s future.
Bradley is a relatively unknown figure in Westminster circles.
A former chartered accountant, she was elected to Parliament in 2010 and has served as Home Office minister responsible for preventing abuse, exploitation, and crime and as a government whip.