Purnell named new minister for media and tourism

13 May 2005
Purnell named new minister for media and tourism

James Purnell, the Labour MP for Stalybridge and Hyde in Cheshire since 2001, is the new minister for media and tourism in the new Government.

Purnell, aged 35, takes over responsibility for tourism, licensing, broadcasting and the creative industries (film and music) from Richard Caborn, who remains minister of sport, with responsibility for gambling and the 2012 Olympic bid.

He has been assistant government whip for the Labour government since December 2004 and served as Parliamentary private secretary to Ruth Kelly in the Cabinet Office from 2003.

Purnell, who is fluent in French, lists football, golf, cinema and the theatre as his key interests.

After gaining a BA in philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford, Purnell worked as a researcher for Tony Blair between 1989 and 1992.

Subsequent roles outside government included strategy consultant at Hydra Associates, research fellow for media and communications at think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research, and head of corporate planning at the BBC.

From 1997 to 2001, Purnell was a special adviser to Blair on culture, media, sports and the knowledge economy, until he was elected an MP in 2001.

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