CHIPPENHAM MP Michelle Donelan has been appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Downing Street has said.

Ms Donelan previously spent 36 hours as Education Secretary for Boris Johnson, before resigning in his final hours before he agreed to stand down.

The former higher and further education minister replaces Nadine Dorries, having backed Liz Truss after initially supporting her former boss Nadhim Zahawi and then Penny Mordaunt in the leadership race.

Ms Donelan will face the ongoing discussions about the privatisation of Channel 4 and the BBC licence fee, as she steps into the role of UK Culture Secretary.

She also has previous experience in the entertainment industry, having worked for The History Channel as well as International Marketing Communications Manager for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

Her new appointment to the Culture Secretary role comes as the chief executive of Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact), which represents the independent TV production sector, urged a reconsideration of the privatisation of Channel 4.

Ms Donelan’s predecessor Nadine Dorries announced the Government’s intention to privatise the broadcaster earlier this year.

The Government argued the broadcaster will struggle to survive in a media landscape increasingly dominated by big streaming giants such as Netflix.

Pact chief executive officer John McVay said it would be a “nonsensical” decision to proceed with taking the broadcaster, which is entirely funded by advertising, out of public ownership.

Ms Donelan will also inherit issues surrounding the review of the BBC license fee.

The Government’s plans to replace the broadcaster’s funding model were previously described as a “massive red herring” to attack the BBC by Jon Thoday, joint founder and co-executive chairman of production company Avalon.

In January Ms Dorries announced that the licence fee would be frozen at £159 for the next two years until April 2024.

Prior to her short-lived cabinet role Ms Donelan’s parliamentary experience includes serving on the Education Select Committee for three years, before entering the Government in the Whips Office in 2018.

She then spent three years in the Department of Education, first as Children and Families Minister, then Minister of State for Universities.

In 2021 Ms Donelan was promoted to Higher and Further Education Minister, attending cabinet in 2021, and was sworn into the Privy Council.

In her spare time she enjoys walking her dog Bella in the Wiltshire countryside, according to her official parliamentary bio.