UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is to stand down when Liz Truss formally takes over as Prime Minister today.
According to reports, the arch-BBC sceptic was asked to remain in post but will now likely be given a peerage, triggering a tricky by-election in her constituency.
Many had anticipated she would stay on, including The Times and Telegraph’s Truss cabinet predictions and a number of sources Deadline spoke with yesterday prior to Truss defeating Rishi Sunak in the Conservative Party leadership race.
Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently giving his farewell speech before he heads to the Queen’s Residence in Balmoral to formally resign.
The BBC and Channel 4 may be breathing cautious sights of relief although will have to wait to see the profile of Dorries’ replacement.
As one connected source told Deadline yesterday of the future for public broadcasting under Truss: “This is less about Truss than it is about Truss’s decision on Dorries,” and it appears Dorries has made the new Prime Minister’s decision far easier.
Former I’m a Celebrity.. Get Me Out of Here! contestant Dorries had pushed through Channel 4 privatization, signalled the start of a damaging license fee review that could see the funding model abolished and made a number of inflammatory remarks about the public broadcasters, including her challenged accusation that a Channel 4 reality show she took part in a decade ago used actors instead of ordinary people.
The Times named Tory leadership contender Kemi Badenoch as a potential successor, a person who has previously accused the BBC of “fanning the flames of racial division” over Covid and the Black Lives Matter protests.
Johnson’s Home Secretary Priti Patel, another BBC critic, also stepped down yesterday.