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Diary: Nadine Dorries’ promotion to culture secretary masks bigger agenda

There's speculation the government's culture wars hides a bigger agenda surrounding the broadcast media.

Nadine Dorries with Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

Boris Johnson’s appointment of “woke warrior” Nadine Dorries as Culture secretary has left the arts and museum sector momentarily speechless.

Back in 2017, Dorries, a former I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here contestant, railed against “left wing snowflakes tearing down historic statues, removing books from universities and dumbing down panto..”.

Expect more of the same tirade when Dorries tackles museum directors intent on defending “decolonisation” and embracing diversity in their exhibitions and audiences. 

Those with a more conspiratorial bent believe the current Tory culture wars hides a bigger agenda: to tilt the field in British broadcasting to the right starting with the privatization of Channel 4 and the appointment of ex Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre as chairman of Ofcom. 

Boris Johnson remains committed to appointing Dacre, despite a previous Ofcom interview committee judging him to be “unappointable”, chiefly on account of his business interests in media.  (His lack of experience in broadcasting was a factor, but not apparently as serious an obstacle as the conflict of interest.)

Dorries’ predecessor as culture secretary, the more reasonable Oliver Dowden, was less enthusiastic about re-opening the Ofcom process on the grounds of breaking precedent on public appointments. Dorries, the ultra loyalist, will have no such doubts.  Which suits Johnson – and Dacre. 

Watch this TV space. 

MORE: Nadine Dorries caught out claiming ‘fake news’

MORE: Unfair and unbalanced – a decade of Paul Dacre at the Daily Mail