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Reshuffle Causes Confusion Over Future Of Charities Minister Position

Sun Oct 10 2021

After Baroness Barran was moved to the Department for Education, there’s now an empty spot for the charities minister

Since July 2020, Baroness Barran had been minister for civil society and loneliness, and will now work as minister for the school system, of which Nadhim Zahawi is the new education secretary.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been asked to confirm whether the department will continue to host the Office for Civil Society and when the minister responsible will be named.

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Great honour to be appointed to @educationgovuk ministerial team. Excited to get to work but first….HUGE THANKS to @DCMS Civil Society and Youth team for all your support. Also to all the charities, social enterprises for all the work you do – especially during the past 18 months.

It has been the most difficult time and you have stepped up and delivered for our communities. Supported of course by brilliant volunteers whose generosity has been extraordinary. Thanks too to all the funders and philanthropists who have partnered with us in the past year.

Baroness Barran, Minister for the School System

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There has seen an outpouring of gratitude and best wishes from senior leaders, as Barran was well respected in the charity sector.

Who is at DCMS?

On Wednesday it was announced that Nadine Dorries would be culture secretary, and only one DCMS minister has kept their job – Nigel Huddleston who is responsible for sport and tourism.

Julia Lopez and Chris Philp have been appointed to the department as minister of state and parliamentary undersecretary respectively. Lopez joins from the Cabinet Office and Philp from the Home Office.

There is not yet a DCMS representative in the House of Lords.

The reason for the confusion for who is charities minister is because, during reshuffles, department heads hand out ministerial portfolios after the prime minister has appointed individuals to departments.

Other Appointments

The voluntary sector has seen a number of key appointments confirmed in the Treasury, Foreign Office and newly rebranded Department for Levelling Up.

Treasury

Helen Whately became the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, which will give her responsibility for charity tax issues.

She has been an MP since 2015, and previously held roles such as deputy chair of the Conservative party, roles within DCMS, and was minister for social care until last week.

On her website it says: “Helen has worked with several charities as a volunteer and adviser and has also been a school governor.”

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is the rebrand of up the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which is now headed by Michael Gove as of last week.

The department also sees the prime minister’s previous levelling up adviser join ranks. Neil O’Brien is the co-founder of the think tank, Onward, which set out a series of reforms for volunteering and Gift Aid last year.

Elsewhere, Andy Haldane has been appointed to head up a levelling up taskforce.

Kemi Badenoch, who had been exchequer secretary at the Treasury, has also joined this department and will continue as minister for equalities.

Foreign Office

The foreign secretary role now includes oversight of international aid programmes and is now held by Liz Truss.

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This year has hit home the need for global cooperation to deal with climate change, the rise in extreme poverty, and ongoing humanitarian crises. But this work, undoubtedly, has been made harder by the cuts to UK aid.

It is critical that the new foreign secretary uses the upcoming international development strategy to ensure UK aid remains poverty-focused, and that the whole portfolio of the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, delivers long-term, sustainable development for the most marginalised communities, whilst protecting human rights and civil society space globally.

Stephanie Draper, CEO of Bond

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Sun Oct 10 2021

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