Nicky Morgan to stand down from culture secretary role after becoming lifelong peer

PUBLISHED: 17:05 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:38 23 January 2020

Culture secretary Nicky Morgan has confirmed she will stand down from the Cabinet in the forthcoming reshuffle. Photograph: House of Lords.

Culture secretary Nicky Morgan has confirmed she will stand down from the Cabinet in the forthcoming reshuffle. Photograph: House of Lords.

PA Wire/PA Images

Culture secretary Nicky Morgan has confirmed she will stand down from the cabinet in the forthcoming reshuffle.

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The former Loughborough MP quit the Commons in the December election but was given a seat in the Lords by Boris Johnson - and retained her ministerial role.

Morgan told the BBC's Political Thinking podcast: "I made the decision to leave the House of Commons and to leave ministerial life in December.

"I achieved one of those goals, I haven't quite achieved the other one but I do intend, when the reshuffle comes, that - although I love being Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Secretary - it is time for various reasons to take a step back from ministerial life."

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She said she took the decision because of a "culmination of things", but that there was "one particular incident" when she was recommended to sit near the front of the train when travelling back to her constituency by a guard amid heightened tensions in Westminster over Brexit.

"I just thought, actually, is this really where I want to be in terms of the way I'm living my life, and so for me that crystallised it."

Lady Morgan was also asked about whether the UK still needs a national broadcaster.

She said: "I'm not sure people say we don't need a national broadcaster, but I think the question is - and it does come up on the doorsteps more and more - 'Why do I pay my licence fee? I don't watch it. I don't agree with it'.

"However, having said that, I think public service broadcasting, not just about the BBC, it's about our other main channels as well, is a very important debate.

"And I think we do need a national broadcaster with a very strong international footprint but also brand that people will turn to."

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