Purnell succeeds Jowell as culture secretary

James Purnell has replaced Tessa Jowell as the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Purnell, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, joins the cabinet from his role as minister of state at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Prior to that, he held the position of minister for the creative industries in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. He also worked as the BBC’s head of corporate planning between 1995 and 1997, under then director general John Birt.

Purnell has been handed the role of culture secretary by new prime minister Gordon Brown as part of his cabinet reshuffle.

However, it is understood that Jowell could still retain the portfolio for planning the 2012 Olympics.

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