Voluntary sector awaits decision on Barran’s successor as charities minister

Baroness Barran has been moved on as charities minister in the final stages of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s reshuffle this week.

However, the charity sector is still awaiting news of who Barran’s successor will be, overseeing charity policy at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Barran’s departure from the DCMS, after two years as charities minister, follows the departure of Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden last week. He became co-chair of the Conservative Party and been replaced by former health minister Nadine Dorries.

Barran has joined the Department for Education as minister for the school system. This includes overseeing school efficiency, safeguarding, home education and intervention in underperforming schools.

In departing the DCMS Barran said that the charity sector has “stepped up and delivered for our communities” during a “the most difficult time” amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

She added: “Thanks too to all the funders and philanthropists who have partnered with us in the past year.”

Among charity sector priorities facing Barran’s successor will be the appointment of the next Charity Commission chair.

A legal challenge has been issued against comments made by Dowden before his departure from the DCMS that the new regulator’s chair should “refocus” charities away from their “woke credentials”. The legal action focuses on concerns that ministers are looking to push the Charity Commission beyond its remit.

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