The Prime Minister has appointed Mims Davies as minister for sport and civil society, following Tracey Crouch’s resignation last week.
Davies will take on all the things that were previously in Crouch's portfolio, including social enterprise, youth, sport, loneliness, horse racing, gambling and lotteries.
Davies has been the Conservative MP for Eastleigh since 2015. She was previously appointed as an assistant government whip in January 2018, and was subsequently named Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales in July. She has shown an interest in both sport and civil society, as well as equalities issues.
In 2017 she ran the London Marathon and raised over £1,000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young. Davies is also a trustee of a small military charity called Building Heroes.
The charity was set up in 2016 to provide education, support and training to veterans. It is registered as a charitable incorporated organisation, a relatively new legal form, and last year had an income of around £280,000.
Davies tweeted last night that she “can’t wait to get started”.
New challenges await-thank you @theresa_may new office to match new trainers-some big shoes to match footprint of @DCMS thanks for kind wishes- A proud day-can’t wait to get started-I’ll much miss @AlunCairns & all great team @UKGovWales a huge honour to work with an ace team pic.twitter.com/tQJ94KGXbh— MimsDaviesMP (@mimsdavies) November 6, 2018
She was congratulated on her new role by her predecessor Crouch, who tweeted: “Congratulations Mims Davies. You’ll be brilliant and I know the fantastic team at DCMS will look after you well.”
Charity leaders have also tweeted their congratulations and begun raising issues with her.
Before entering politics Davies worked as a local radio presenter and producer and held communications roles with the police and AA. She was a Conservative councillor between 2011 and 2015 and has a degree in politics and international relations from Swansea University.
She sits on the House of Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion, and was previously a member of the women and equalities committee.
Last month she resigned from a committee chaired by Commons speaker John Bercow over concerns about his ability to tackle bullying and sexual harassment problems in Parliament.
She campaigned to leave the EU during the referendum in 2016.
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO said: "She brings a wealth of experience – through her trusteeship of a small charity and strong relationships with a number of others. This will be important as she looks to implement the civil society strategy developed by her predecessor - embedding the strategy’s aspirations across government."
Sir John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: "We are looking forward to working with Mims Davies MP as she takes on this important remit. Her breadth of parliamentary experience means she is well-placed to implement and build on the ambitious changes outlined in the Civil Society Strategy. Given her passion for charity fundraising, we believe she will be a great addition to the team at DCMS.
"It is however disappointing that the Prime Minister did not take this opportunity to reinstate a stand-alone Minister for Civil Society. Given the challenges faced by the sector and the huge impact it has on people’s lives it would undoubtedly benefit from a dedicated Minister who can push forward the wide-ranging and ambitious plans set out earlier this year."
Vicky Browning, chief executive of Acevo, said: “It is great for the sector that we have a minister who has demonstrated her commitment and passion for charities by running the marathon in aid of a charity and by holding a trustee position in a small armed forces charity.
“Like her predecessor, it seems she will not need to be convinced of the value of charities but, also like her predecessor Mims Davies has a large brief and it is important that she demonstrates her belief in the value of charities by prioritising the implementation of the civil society strategy.”