Culture Secretary Maria Miller MP has dismissed recent rumours that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport is about to be abolished as "nonsense".
Writing in the Guardian recently, Miller criticised the atmosphere of "perpetual gloom" in the arts sector and promised that the government is "not going to abandon its support for culture".
She added: "I believe unequivocally in the importance of culture; I know how inspiring it can be, and there is no doubt as to the real social and educational case for public investment. But that is never going to be the argument that wins the day when money is desperately tight. So, this is the time to focus on the economic impact."
Since being appointed in September last year Miller has faced criticism for failing to protect the arts from spending cuts, as well as her perceived lack of contact with key figures in the sector. Among her most outspoken critics have been directors Nicholas Hytner and Danny Boyle, the latter of whom warned in November of a "catastrophic effect" on regional theatre if further cuts are pushed through.
But referring to recent negotiations with the Treasury, Miller writes: "I've ensured that the reduction for arts and culture is limited to just 5%. And this, by the way, means that all the scare stories about museum closures can now be put to bed."
Read Maria Miller's full article here
See also: Samuel West - Is Maria Miller leading the arts into a trap?