James Purnell named as secretary of state for culture, media and sport

Gordon Brown has promoted pensions minister James Purnell to secretary of state for culture, media and sport (DCMS) in his first cabinet reshuffle since becoming prime minister this week.

The former BBC executive and political advisor replaces Tessa Jowell who had been under increasing pressure in the cabinet role, having overseen the London 2012 Olympics, which has come in for heavy criticism over its spiralling costs.

He has been minister for pensions since 2006, having previously worked as parliamentary undersecretary for the DCMS under Jowell. Prior to entering parliament in 2001, he worked as special adviser to the government on culture, media, sport and the knowledge economy. He has also worked as the head of corporate planning at the BBC between 1995 and 1997.

Purnell was selected as a member of parliament for Stalybridge and Hyde in 2001.

It is understood that his predecessor Jowell could undertake a role in looking after planning for the London Olympics.

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