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Matt Hancock replaces Karen Bradley as culture secretary and Nick Pontefract leaves for Sport England

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Matt Hancock has been appointed secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport in Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle.

Hancock takes over from Karen Bradley, who has been made Northern Ireland secretary.

Since July 2016, he has served in the department as minister of state for digital with responsibility for broadband, broadcasting, creative industries, cyber and the tech industry.

In other news, Nick Pontefract has left the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to become Sport England’s chief operating officer.

Pontefract will join the body in March, taking over from Rona Chester, who is retiring after eight years in post.

As head of sport at the DCMS he led the development of the Sporting Future strategy to increase the number of people engaging in sport, and as the executive director of the Commonwealth Games Delivery Unit he helped to secure Birmingham’s bid as the host city for 2022.

Pontefract will take overall responsibility for the key functions of finance, grants management, human resources and IT, and will work closely with chief executive Jennie Price on strategy.

“Getting more people from all backgrounds involved in sport is a big challenge but if we get it right the impact could be enormous,” said Pontefract.

“Being part of the development of Sporting Future and Towards an Active Nation has given me a passion for the positive impact that sport can bring.

“I can't wait to work with the brilliant people in Sport England and across the sport and physical activity sector to make a real difference to people's lives."

Price said: “Nick came through a highly competitive process with a strong field of well over 100 applicants, and brings a huge amount of relevant experience and enthusiasm, coupled with a genuine passion for tackling inactivity.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Rona Chester for her service and dedication to Sport England's work.

“She leaves a strong foundation for Nick to build on as we continue to deliver on our vision of a more active nation for all.”

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