Libraries minister changes again as Glen moves in reshuffle

Libraries minister changes again as Glen moves in reshuffle

Junior minister John Glen has lost the libraries brief after being moved to the Treasury as part of prime minister Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle. It has not yet been confirmed who will be replacing him at the department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Prime minister Theresa May continued to reshuffle her cabinet on Tuesday (9th January), after beginning the process the day before, in a bid to strengthen her ministerial team in a contentious time for the UK government.

Margot James has been made culture minister after Matt Hancock was promoted to culture secretary on Monday (8th January). James was previously parliamentary under secretary of state at the department for business, energy and industrial strategy.

Michael Ellis, previously deputy leader of the House of Commons, has been made parliamentary under secretary of state at the DCMS, with his responsibilities yet to be confirmed.

Glen (pictured) has now become economic secretary to the Treasury and city minister, a key role during Brexit negotiations.

It is the third time in 18 months that the minister responsible for libraries has changed, at a time that tens of libraries are closing every year. Glen became libraries minister in June 2017 after Rob Wilson lost his seat in the General Election, while Wilson took over from Ed Vaizey, in July 2016.

In the 12 months to April 2017, 105 libraries shut down and £66m was slashed from libraries' budgets, according to figures from the Chartered Institute of Public Finances and Accountancy (CIPFA). Since the start of austerity measure in 2012,  449 across England, Scotland and Wales have closed.

Sam Gyimah has also replaced Jo Johnson as universities minister in May's reshuffle. Johnson has been reportedly moved from the universities brief following his controversial appointment of Toby Young as chief executive of the Office for Students. Young resigned on Tuesday following public outcry about the move and a petition which attracted over 200,000 signatures.

Gyimah has been appointed jointly to the education department and the business department. Previously parliamentary under secretary of state at the ministry of justice, Gyimah will work alongside the newly-appointed education secretary, Damian Hinds, who has replaced Justine Greening.