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Department for Culture Media and Sport

james purnell

Rt Hon James Purnell MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport.


Rt Hon James Purnell MP


James Purnell was appointed Minister for Creative Industries and Tourism in May 2005 and then Minister for Pensions reform in 2006. Mr Purnell, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde entered Parliament in 2001.

James campaigned in 2001 on his ability to deliver for the people of Stalybridge & Hyde.  Ever since he was elected his key priority has been to act as their voice in Westminster on issues such as securing more funding for Tameside Local Council, getting local schools rebuilt or modernised as part of the Building Schools for the Future scheme and tackling anti-social behaviour.

James was a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee in the House of Commons 2001-03, and the Chair of the All Party Group on Private Equity and Venture Capital 2002-03.  In December 2004 James was promoted to the position of Assistant Government Whip.  Prior to this he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ruth Kelly MP in the Cabinet Office.

Prior to entering Parliament, James was a researcher to Rt Hon Tony Blair MP during his time as Shadow Employment Secretary, 1989-92.  After graduating, he went to Hydra Associates 1992-94, and then became a Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research 1994-95 on their media and communications project.  He published various works at this time.

He went on to become Head of Corporate Planning at the BBC from 1995-97.  He then returned to work for then Prime Minister Tony Blair as Special Adviser on culture, media, sport and the knowledge economy from 1997-2001.