Whittingdale out as May finalises cabinet reshuffle15 July 2016
John Whittingdale has been removed from his position as culture secretary.
The 56-year-old, who had been charged with overseeing the BBC’s royal charter review, has been replaced by Staffordshire Moorlands MP Karen Bradley.
Bradley will instead be tasked with the finalisation of the charter, which is due to begin in 2017, setting out the broadcaster’s budget and scope.
Whittingdale, who held his position for just 14 months, had a strained relationship with the BBC, whose licence fee he described as ‘worse than poll tax’.
He was reportedly seeking a much more punitive charter and financial settlement than that laid out and, as a result, the BBC went over Whittingdale’s head and negotiated the financial aspect of the licence fee settlement directly with the Treasury and Downing Street.
Following the reshuffle, Whittingdale tweeted, “Has been a privilege to serve as Culture Secretary. I wish my successor every success & will continue to support creative industries.”
Bradley, a former chartered accountant, was elected to Parliament in 2010 and has served as Home Office minister responsible for preventing abuse, exploitation and crime as a government whip.