Future of youth minister role undecided after Huddleston’s departure

The government has yet to decide on the future of the role of youth minister following the departure of Nigel Huddleston from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Huddleston took on the role of Civil Society and Minister of Youth last October as part of his broader mandate of steering policy for sport, heritage and tourism, to entrust him with one of the broadest ministerial powers of the government.

The government is now deciding whether youth policy will continue to be part of this broader mandate or resuscitate the dedicated role of civil society and the youth minister, CYP Now understands.

DCMS’s mandate for young people and charities was held by Baroness Barran until last year but was scrapped and merged with Huddleston’s mandate when she joined the Department for Education to become minister of schools.

Charity sector body, the National Council of Voluntary Organizations raised concerns at a time when “combining civil society with sport, heritage and tourism will mean a full and challenging workload” for Huddleston.

The lack of clarity over ministerial responsibilities within DCMS comes as question marks remain over the replacement of Children’s Minister Brendan Clarke-Smith, who left after just two months in the role to join the cabinet in Beginning of the month.

This week, Huddleston announced that he had left DCMS to become a government whip.

A number of new ministerial appointments have been made to DCMS, but a spokesperson said specific roles are “yet to be determined” and did not rule out new hires.

Among those joining the DCMS this week are parliamentary under-secretaries, former justice minister Stuart Andrew and former health and social care minister Lord Kamall.

The government has also confirmed that Julia Lopez has returned to DCMS as Minister of State, a post she held until July.

In announcing his departure, Huddleston acknowledged the extent of the responsibilities he had at DCMS.

general manager of scouts matt hyde is among youth sector leaders to praise Huddleston or his work overseeing youth policy over the past year, thanking him ‘for all you have done as Minister for Civil Society and Youth “.

Meanwhile, the director general of the National Youth Agency Leigh Middleton thanked Huddleston for his ‘passion and support for the youth sector’ and for his role in developing the £560million youth guarantee improving access to support and youth clubs.

British Youth Chief Executive Ndidi Okezie added that Huddleston had been ‘passionate, direct and honest’ as youth minister.

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