Ben Gummer, the minister in charge of digital transformation in prime minister Theresa May's government, has lost his Ipswich seat following yesterday's general election.
Gummer had also been responsible for the Conservative Party's election manifesto that almost-overnight reduced the Conservative's 20+ lead in the opinion polls to less than three per cent, as two-thirds of the 18-24 youth vote not only swung to Labour, but turned out in strength.
Opinion polls indicate that 57 per cent of Labour voters made their mind up in the last month, indicating that it was the campaign and party manifestos in particular that swung the election away from the Conservatives.
Gummer had become the youngest minister to attend Cabinet meetings only last year when he was appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office Paymaster General. In that role, in February this year, Gummer launched what he called the Government Transformation Strategy.
"This strategy charts the direction of the total transformation of government - in how we work, how we organise ourselves and how we serve our citizens.
"It is the most ambitious programme of change of any government anywhere in the world, by a government that has already done more to transform itself than any other," he claimed when he unveiled the new strategy - which in many respects was a continuation of the strategy started in 2010 by Francis Maude.
In the strategy document, Gummer had suggested that the next stage of "digitally enabled transformation" has three broad components:
- Transforming whole citizen-facing services;
- Full department transformation; and,
- Internal government transformation.
Increasingly, suggested the report, "government departments will need to collaborate across traditional organisational boundaries".
Maude, meanwhile, was the Cabinet Office minister when the Directgov government services website was shifted into his department in July 2010, and formed the nucleus of the Government Digital Service (GDS) when it was set-up in April 2011 to implement and oversee the-then government's Digital by Default strategy.
The digital transformation efforts across government are unlikely to be stalled by the sudden departure of the minister, but further political turmoil may have a big influence on their direction.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago