Entanet has called on incoming Prime Minister Theresa May to replace incumbent Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey with Baroness Joanna Shields.
With an expected cabinet reshuffle to happen by the end of the week, communications wholeseller Entanet has sent an open letter to the new Prime Minister urging her to replace Vaizey with someone "who has the ability to understand the communications industry from a technical perspective".
The letter, written by Entanet’s Head of Service Neil Watson, claims that Vaizey has "not been effective in this position due to a lack of experience" and suggests Baroness Shields as a replacement as she "has the abilities necessary to continue to pioneer digital technology within the United Kingdom".
Watston said: "Congratulations on your forthcoming new role as Prime Minister. We’ve not always seen eye-to-eye (what’s an over-intrusive Investigatory Powers Bill between friends?) but, as you reflect on who will be in your Cabinet, we’d urge you to give due consideration to the future Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy.
"The incumbent, Ed Vaizey MP, has – in our opinion – not been effective in this position due to a lack of experience (his own website describes him as being more artsy than technical) and failing to engage adequately with the industry on crucial matters.
"Without really shaking things up and creating a separate Department of Communications (wherein the artsier elements of culture, media and creative industries can be dealt with adequately by a Minister of Mr Vaizey’s experience), it’s important to have a Minister in place who has the ability to understand the communications industry from a technical perspective.
"To this end, we believe that Baroness Joanna Shields might be a wise choice to fill Mr Vaizey’s shoes."
May has not always seen eye-to-eye with the communications industry, with Watson citing an "over-intrusive Investigatory Powers Bill" that the new PM championed as Home Secretary. The bill, commonly referred to as the ‘Snooper’s Charter’, has faced opposition from senior members of the Conservative party along with many in the tech industry.