The Policy Download

The weekly summary of tech policy and politics
Issue 46 / 17 September 2021
 Feature story 

All change to DCMS 

The Prime Minister conducted a reshuffle of his Cabinet and wider ministerial team this week. It was brutal, and there's a lot of change.

Oliver Dowden got shifted from DCMS Secretary of State to Chair of the Conservative Party. Taking his place is Nadine Dorries, formerly a Minister of State at the Department for Health and Social Care. Political Twitter has had lots of fun going through Nadine's tweeting history: good luck to whoever at Twitter will have to determine what content is "legal but harmful"...

There's been a wider change in the DCMS team, too. Caroline Dinenage, John Whittingdale and Matt Warman are all off to the backbenches. Generally speaking I think this is a shame: I disagreed on some of the policy thinking but this was a good team. Replacing them are Julia Lopez (formerly at the Cabinet Office) and Chris Philp (formerly at the Ministry of Justice and a PPS to the Chancellor).

This marks ten DCMS Secretaries of State in just over 11 years, and the sixth since the Internet Safety Strategy. This seems sensible for a Department with responsibility for c.15% of the UK's economy. 
 Other stories this week 

Apple and Epic (link)

The judge in the US edition of Apple and Epic's ongoing legal battle gave their ruling. They (mostly) gave it to Apple, although Epic were successful on one count. In summary, the judge concluded that the App Store was not a monopoly and that "success is not illegal". Don't expect to the battle of the Tims to slow down.  

Chips and Apple (link - £)

Imagination Technologies, a UK based microchip designer, is considering a stock market float. Imagination were taken private by a Chinese-backed fund after Apple cast them aside, and now they're thinking of relisting in the throes of a global chip shortage. Tell me this isn't the perfect summary of the global tech policy zeitgeist.  
 Consultations to note 

UK Prospectus Regime: HM Treasury (link) - opened 01/07/21, closing 24/09/21. 

A new pro-competition regime for digital markets: DCMS (link) - opened 20/07/21, closing 01/10/21.

Draft international data transfer agreement: Information Commissioner's Office (link) - opened 11/09/21, closing 07/10/21. 

Central Bank Digital Currencies: The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee (link) - opened 16/09/21, closing 15/10/21. 

Reporting rules for digital platforms: HMRC (link) - opened 30/07/21, closing 22/10/21. 

Audience protection standards on Video-on-Demand Services: DCMS (link) - opened 31/08/21, closing 26/10/21. 

Data: a new direction: DCMS (link) - opened 10/09/21, closing 19/11/21. 

Enterprise Management Incentives: HM Treasury (link) - opened 03/03/21.
 Next week in Parliament 

On Tuesday Tim Farron (remember him?) has a Westminster Hall debate on Project Gigabit and community-led internet service providers. 

On Thursday the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Sub-Committee on Online Harms and Disinformation will be taking oral evidence on online safety and online harms. The Joint Committee on the Draft Online Safety Bill will also take oral evidence. 
What I've been reading and listening to

John Carreyrou: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Financial Times: ‘Why have we not grown any giant companies?’ The UK’s attempt to take on Silicon Valley (link)
 My recent work 
Taso Advisory is hiring

We're hiring again at Taso Advisory. We're looking for someone to join the team in a senior role. They'll have a real expertise in and passion for tech policy. They'll have the chance to participate in and help to shape our rapid growth. Is that you? Or do you know someone? More details are here

Treasury Connect

Taso Advisory client Plexal hosted the Chancellor of the Excequer's inaugural tech conference: Treasury Connect. It brought together leaders of the UK's tech sector to discuss how the Government can maintain and build on the UK's position as a leading digital economy. 

Future of tech policy 

Taso Advisory hosted an event in Parliament on the future of tech policy. We got to hear from some great speakers and we enjoyed warm white wine and cold red wine, as is tradition. If you'd like to come to the next event we host, just let me know

If you'd like a conversation about how either Taso Advisory or Greenstone Research can support you, please just get in touch. 
Did you like this issue of The Policy Download?
Subscribe to receive it again, and share it with your friends and colleagues.
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Ben Greenstone is the author of The Policy Download.

Ben is the managing director of Taso Advisory, a public policy consultancy, and the director of Greenstone Research, a subscription policy research service. Before this, Ben was an adviser to UK government ministers, including two ministers with responsibility for digital and the creative industries.

You can get in touch with Ben at: or

Ben tweets at @ben_greenstone.
Copyright © 2021 The Policy Download, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.