Michelle Donelan

Source: David Woolfall (via CC BY 3.0)

Michelle Donelan

Culture secretary Michelle Donelan has retained her job following newly-appointed UK prime minister Rishi Sunak’s cabinet reshuffle.

BBC licence-fee sceptic Donelan was appointed by short-lived leader Liz Truss on 6 September, with some speculation that she may have been ousted following the departure of the former prime minister.

However Sunak, who became prime minister yesterday, has opted to keep her in post after she was among the MPs to endorse him during his second leadership bid.

Other potential candidates reportedly under consideration for the post according to The Times included former deputy prime minister Therese Coffey, who previously worked for the BBC, and the hardline Kemi Badenoch.

During her six weeks leading the department, Donelan has said that her ambition is to ensure that the BBC remains sustainable in the long-term.

For its centenary last week, she tweeted her support for the corporation adding: “Our aim is to enhance the very best of the BBC, but address areas where it could, and should, deliver value, fairness and choice for audiences”.

Her re-appointment is likely to be greeted with cautious optimism at Channel 4.

In Westminster earlier this week, Donelan pledged to “thoroughly” review the proposal to privatise Channel 4, appearing to go a step further than her previous commitment.

“We have a fantastic, growing creative industry in this country, which relies on platforms like C4, and that is part of the decision-making process of course,” she told ministers.

Had Boris Johnson been reinstated as prime minister, there was speculation that his former culture secretary Nadine Dorries, a proponent of the C4 sale plan, was in line to return to the department.

This article first appeared in Screen’s sister title Broadcast.