Matt Hancock MP has been promoted to the role of secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport in the prime minister’s cabinet reshuffle.
The MP for West Suffolk was the digital minister at the DCMS and replaces Karen Bradley MP, who moved to the Northern Ireland brief.
It is the first full cabinet position for Hancock who entered parliament for West Suffolk in 2010.
He said in a statement that he was “absolutely thrilled”, adding: “Such an exciting time to be part of DCMS, with so much to do. I can’t wait to get stuck in.”
UKinbound welcomed his appointment and sent him a letter to reiterate the key issues the tourism industry faces.
Deirdre Wells, UKinbound chief executive, said: “We look forward to working with Matt, whose previous experience within DCMS and as the minister of state for business and enterprise will be particularly valuable in supporting DCMS’s largest economic sector – tourism. Our industry needs strong leadership to ensure continued development and growth of the inbound tourism sector, and I’m confident Matt will provide this.”
Issues included in the letter were immigration and visas; access to a skilled workforce; Air Passenger Duty; the Tourism Sector Deal; and a “strong narrative promoting the UK as a welcoming destination”.
The Tourism Alliance tweeted: “Congratulations to @MattHancock on appointment as the Culture Secretary. Looking forward to working together to further boost the UK’s #tourism industry’s contribution to the UK economy.”
The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva) congratulated Bradley on her new role and said its members in Northern Ireland will find her “a strong advocate for tourism”.
Alva also welcomed Hancock’s promotion, adding: “He knows our sector very well and has been a consistent and energetic advocate of museums, galleries, the arts, culture and heritage.”
As well as tourism, the DCMS main policy areas include arts and culture; broadcasting; creative industries; sport: telecommunications and online.
Most big names stayed in post during the reshuffle on Monday (January 8) and more junior appointments are expected later.