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July 18, 2016

#vexit for Ed Vaizey as Matthew Hancock is named new Digital Minister

News: Vaizey ends his six year stint as Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy.

By Ellie Burns

As new PM Theresa May continues her cabinet reshuffle, Ed Vaizey is the latest minister to be sacked, ending his six years as Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy.

Stepping into his role will be Matthew Hancock, who will now be responsible for tech policy, broadband, digital infrastructure and, among other things, the digital single market.

In his six years as Digital Economy Minister, Vaizey connected over four million homes to superfast broadband while overseeing gov’t broadband projects such as Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). While talking to CBR he stated his belief that the UK was the Silicon Valley of Europe, but noted the difference in ‘entrepreneurial zeal” when comparing the US to the UK. Read the full interview here.

Organisations and co-workers were quick to express gratitude to Vaizey’s six years of service, with techUK tweeting: “Thank you @edvaizey from techUK and our members for your tireless work and service as digital economy minister.”

The new minister, Matthew Hancock, also choose to use the medium of Twitter to express his excitement at his new appointment, tweeting: “Can’t wait to get cracking as Minister for Digital & Culture. Now more than ever we need Britain to be outward looking with global ambition.”

Ed Vaizey, acknowledging his return to the backbenches as a #Vexit, was quick to congratulate Hancock, tweeting: “@MatthancockMP brilliant appointment. Knows tech sector well and will strongly support arts. Great news!”

Hancock, who has been a Conservative Member of Parliament for West Suffolk since 2010, will focus on broadband and ensure that the 2017 coverage target is met. Hancock will also reportedly introduce the proposed 10Mbps universal service obligation (USO).

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