Karen Bradley Named U.K. Culture Secretary

Karen Bradley - Getty H 2016
Credit: Getty / Dan Kitwood

She replaces John Whittingdale and will oversee the finalization of the BBC's new royal charter.

The U.K. has a new culture secretary — or, to be exact, a secretary of state for culture, media and sport.

Karen Bradley — a former chartered accountant — was appointed by new Prime Minister Theresa May as part of a radical reshuffling in her first cabinet.

Among the minister's main tasks ahead will be the finalization of the BBC's new royal charter, which is due to begin in 2017 and will set out the broadcaster's budget and scope.

Bradley studied math at Imperial College London. Before working in politics, she spent 20 years in the business world, with roles as an accountant and tax manager for such companies as KPMG and Deloitte & Touche.

Bradley's predecessor John Whittingdale had overseen a major review of the BBC, involving significant cutbacks, and faced fierce criticism from the U.K. creative sector. His suitability for a role in which he oversaw press regulation standards came under question last year after his relationship with a sex worker became headline news.

Reports of Whittingdale's sacking was reportedly greeted with "whoops and cheers" from the BBC newsroom, according to one hastily deleted tweet.