Jeremy Wright: cultural man of mystery

Jane Martinson
Jeremy Wright … unlike his predecessor, he appears to be no fan of social media. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The new culture secretary has a legal background, but not much more is known about Jeremy Wright, a former criminal barrister.

Typically, the appointment of the minister responsible for culture, media and sport prompts a slew of stories about their cultural preferences. For example we learned that Wright’s predecessor Matt Hancock liked Ed Sheeran and racing, while Karen Bradley liked Adele and Man City.

More than a week after Wright’s appointment no detail has yet emerged about the man who spent four years as chief legal adviser to the government, apart from the fact that he is a married father of two who voted to remain as MP of Kenilworth and Southam in Warwickshire.

This lack of interest could be down to the fact that as the fourth culture secretary in two years, the media has decided to see how long he lasts.

In the post-referendum merry-go-round, the media job has proved a springboard for high-fliers such as the home secretary, Sajid Javid, as well as Bradley and Hancock. But the wheels have turned so many times, it seems as though the whips have been forced to wander around looking for anyone left.

In this plum job, the brief includes dealing with Fox’s acquisition of Sky and a review into the future of journalism, due next year. The issue of digital platforms’ responsibility will prove key and Wright has shown an early belief that when it comes to posting racist or Islamophobic comments, technology firms must “understand clearly that criminal law applies”.

Unlike his predecessor, Wright appears to be no fan of social media – until last week he had not tweeted since 2015. He has consistently voted against increases in corporation tax, suggesting that his tenure will be a continuation of Hancock: pro business, but tech-sceptic.