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Work and Pensions Secretary - James Purnell

James Purnell moved from Culture, Media and Sport in January 2008 after Peter Hain resigned when donations made to his deputy leadership campaign were referred to the police.

An MP since 2001, Mr Purnell worked as one of Tony Blair's researchers when Neil Kinnock was Labour leader.

He was also part of the policy unit at No 10 and the Institute for Public Policy Research, as well as chairing the housing committee on Islington Council in north London.

At the age of 25, in 1995, he became head of corporate planning at the BBC before moving on to be special advisor on sport, media and culture for Tony Blair from 1997-2001.

He was elected as an MP in 2001 and sat on the work and pensions committee. In 2004, he became a government whip, and was later appointed parliamentary under-Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, then a pensions minister.

James Purnell

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