UK prime minister Liz Truss has named Michelle Donelan (pictured) as the new culture secretary.

Donelan takes up the role as head of the wide-ranging Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DMCS). She is the 11th culture secretary in 11 years, succeeding Nadine Dorries.

Donelan’s experience in the creative and entertainment sectors includes roles such as international communications manager at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and senior marketing executive at Sky.

Her parliamentary career includes her being the shortest serving cabinet member in British history when she was briefly promoted to education secretary by Boris Johnson amidst a wave of resignations in July, she stepped down just two days later.

Donelan has been an MP since 2015 and was minister for higher education from September 2021 to July 2022. She was government whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury) from 29 July 2019 to 13 February 2020.

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin welcomed Donelan to her new role and said the organisation looks forward to working with her closely to grow the UK’s “world-leading” music industry: “Following the prime minister’s comments about how we need tax cuts to stimulate the economy, we will continue to press the case for fiscal incentives to increase investment, support for UK exports and a significant cut in VAT to help boost jobs and growth in our sector. We also urgently need action from Government on the energy crisis, which is crippling businesses across our sector.

“The UK music industry contributes billions to the economy, boosts our global reputation and brings joy to millions of people across the country – we are exactly the sort of growth industry that Government should be supporting and championing.”

Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) CEO Paul Reed congratulated Donelan on her appointment as secretary of state at DCMS, and emphasised that it is a “uniquely challenging” time for festivals as the industry prepares for the 2023 season: “Although now fully operational, we are still in a recovery phase, facing an ongoing perfect storm of rising costs, supply chain issues, record low consumer confidence and audiences making extremely difficult choices due to the cost of the living crisis. We look forward to working closely with the minister and ensuring appropriate interventions and support for our culture defining festival sector, which generates £1.76bn GVA for the UK economy annually and supports 85,000 jobs.”

Grassroots venues organisation the Music Venue Trust has invited Donelan to a parliamentary event on 14 September about its #OwnOurVenues campaign: “We need urgent govt action on the short term energy crisis which threatens hundreds of music venues,” it said on Twitter. 

PSA chairman Dave Keighley said, “Hopefully [Donelan] will engage with LIVE and other associations within the live music industry. We look forward to working with her and solving some of the issues that still remain regarding Brexit primarily.”

LIVE CEO Jon Collins said, “We congratulate Michelle Donelan MP on her new appointment, and look forward to working with the new Government to ensure the UK’s live music industry continues to flourish as one of our greatest cultural and economic assets.

“We believe that there are practical solutions to the issues holding our industry back and look forward to meeting with the new Secretary of State to make progress on these important matters.”

National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) president Tom Clements said he is pleased to see the new government begin work in what is a “really tough time” for the UK economy: “Naturally, we welcome Michelle to her new position, as well as her many other colleagues who will be working with NOEA in the future. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to continuing the open dialogue and honest discussions that have typified the relationship between our industry and the government over the last few years.”

“Ours is an industry that needs support, and we’ll be speaking to the government about how they can help the thousands of businesses that make up UK events. However, we’re also an industry that can really support this government’s own growth objectives. We’re an industry looking to expand, innovate and work into its objectives of both boosting economic growth and inspiring citizens at a local and national level.

“We’ve never been as close to our colleagues in government as we are at the moment and we’re looking forward to working collaboratively with MPs, civil servants and many of the other organisations that support and work with our industry.”