We certainly can’t take all the credit, but Ed Vaizey was unceremoniously dumped from his role as Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy last Friday evening. His replacement is the MP for West Suffolk, Matt Hancock.
Representing West Suffolk since 2010, and serving as George Osborne’s chief of staff before that, Mr Hancock isn’t a complete neophyte when it comes to politics. But what of that subject so close to our hearts? Is he likely to be any better at promoting connectivity issues and engaging with the industry than his predecessor?
A cursory glance at his website would suggest not – Mr Hancock lists his hobbies as economics, cricket and horse racing – but a deeper delve yields information that offers hope.
As MP for West Suffolk, Mr Hancock has campaigned to secure better broadband for his constituents and, in his most recent parliamentary appointment as Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, he was responsible for public sector reform, cyber security and the “digital transformation of government”. Here it’ll be interesting to see if the speech he delivered at the National Digital Conference in June 2016 – in which he said “…digital transformation ultimately is business transformation… you can’t redesign a service without redesigning the organisation delivering it” – will impact his thinking when it comes to BT and Openreach and, more importantly, making sure that Ofcom does a decent job in regulating them. Although given that Hancock’s initial foray into the communications industry was to co-chair the first meeting of the Cyber Growth Partnership (CGP) alongside Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT, we’re wondering if sweet nothings have already been whispered, resulting in yet another politician residing in the pocket of big business. We hope not.
To that end, Mr Hancock, if you’re reading this please do make contact with the smaller providers. Our impact on the economy through innovation, investment and sheer hard work means that our collective voice is too strong to be ignored.
Have your say!
What do you think of our new ministerial appointment? What do you think Matt Hancock should treat as his priorities? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
- Entanet Opinion: An open letter to Rt Hon Theresa May MP
- Parliament.uk: Matthew Hancock MP Biography
- MatthewHancock.co.uk: About Matt
- Wikipedia.org: Matthew Hancock
- ComputerWeekly.com: Prime Minister Theresa May Shakes Up Responsibility for Digital Policy in Ministerial Reshuffle
- Gov.uk: Digital Economy Minister Co-chairs First Cyber Growth Partnership Meeting
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