Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey MP for Wantage has been removed from his role as Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries by the new Prime minister Theresa May. He said in a statement on his website, “It’s been an honour and a privilege to serve from the front benches and as your MP over the past 10 years, and I am delighted that I will be able to continue to work on behalf of all Constituents across Wantage and Didcot.
In a posting on Twitter on Friday night the MP for Wantage, Faringdon and Didcot tweeted: “Looking forward to supporting the government from the backbenches #vexit”. New Prime Minister Theresa May has replaced Mr Vaizey with MP for West Suffolk Matt Hancock. Mr Hancock has been MP for West Suffolk since 2010, and has served as skills and enterprise minister and as energy minister. He was appointed minister for the cabinet office and paymaster general in May 2015. He studied PPE at Oxford and has an M Phil in economics from Cambridge. Before becoming an MP he served for a while as economic advisor to George Osborne, then shadow chancellor. His Twitter profile says he “loves cricket and racing.”
Mr Vaizey who supported Brexit and his friend Michael Gove, was first elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for the constituency of Wantage in 2005. He was re-elected in 2010, and was re-elected again on May 7 2015 with an increased majority.
In 2006 Ed was appointed Shadow Arts Minister, and in 2010 became the Minister for Culture Communications and the Creative Industries. In that role, Ed has been responsible for the roll out of the successful rural broadband programme, the introduction of 4G, and tax credits for film, television, animation and video games, which have made the creative industries the fastest growing part of our economy. In 2014, Ed was appointed Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy.
Born in 1968, Ed attended Merton College, Oxford. When he left university, he spent two years working for the Conservative Party’s Research Department, before training and practising as a barrister.
In 1996, he left the law, and became the director of a highly successful public relations company based in London. In 2004, he left to become the chief speech writer for the then Leader of the Opposition, Michael Howard.
Ed also built up a career as a freelance political commentator, writing regularly for The Guardian, and appearing on programmes such as Despatch Box and The Wright Stuff, as well as broadcasting frequently on Five Live.
In Wantage and Didcot, Ed is President of Didcot Town Football Club; a board member of Didcot First; Vice-President of the Friends of the Ridgeway; Patron of the Friends of St Mary’s Church, Buckland. Since being elected in 2005, Ed has raised and donated more than £15,000 to local charities in the constituency. He is also president of SUDEP Action – a charity that campaigns to raise awareness and understanding of the risk of Sudden Death in Epilepsy.
Ed’s other interests have included being a board member of the Bush Theatre in West London; a trustee of the Heritage of London Trust; and a trustee of the National Churches Trust. He is also an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a member of the Radio Academy. Mr Vaizey was a keen supporter of the arts and will be missed by many.
Photo: P C Robinson © artlyst 2016