Jeremy Wright further undermines his credentials as minister for media

Written by David Singleton on 5 November 2018 in Diary

The man responsible for overseeing the British media industry is not into newspapers

When Jeremy Wright was named as the new secretary of state for digital, media & sport, the puzzlement in Westminster was palpable.
On the Conservative Party website, he listed his interests as "travel, music, James Bond films and playing golf badly". Before getting the DCMS job, he had uttered the word "digital" only twice in parliament and his Twitter account had been inactive since 2015.
"Five tweets! I wonder what his views are on machine-learning algorithms," one Labour MP jibed at the time. One veteran Tory MP told TP: “I think he was wanting to get out of being attorney general and here was the opportunity to send him to culture, media and sport. I just don’t know how much interest he’s got in any of them, frankly.”
Against an inauspicious start, things could only get better for Wright. Or so it seemed until today’s appearance at the Society of Editors annual conference.

Four months into the new gig, Wright once again demonstrated his lack of interest in all of the things in his job title when he told the audience of newspaper editors that he doesn’t subscribe to any British newspapers or magazines.
He then said he “generally reads a summary of newspapers and certain comment pieces”, citing the Times' Danny Finkelstein and Matthew Paris as among his favourites.
After being asked five times to name a female columnist, Wright eventually named Allison Pearson of the Telegraph.
But only after he revealed just how hard he thought it was to name a female columnist -  by insisting that he was “not going to get into pub quiz questions”.

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