Tuesday, 11 August 2009
After having been in post as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for eighteen months, Andy Burnham has been booted upstairs as the new health secretary. He has been replaced by the urbane Ben Bradshaw, a slim, handsome, alert 48 year old who admits to bopping the night away to the strains of Grace Jones. Burnham, MP for Exeter, is one of few openly open gay MPs who recently had a civil partnership. In Who’s Who he lists music as one of his recreational activities; maybe not the Albert Hall kind. When I met him at the Art Fund Prize presentation (with the £100,000 awarded to the Wedgwood Museum) he assured me of his interest in crafts and his support – and praise – for the Devon Guild. Arts ministers seem to come and go with alarming regularity. If they’re talented they are moved on, if less bright they stay. Lets hope that Ben Bradshaw is both talented and a stayer. It must surely be one of the more enjoyable portfolios in government.