James Purnell to replace Hain

25 January 2008

James Purnell has been named as the new secretary of state for work and pensions following Peter Hain’s resignation on 24 January.

Hain stepped down from the Cabinet after the Electoral Commission requested a police investigation into the way he funded his deputy leadership campaign.

Purnell, Labour MP for Stalybridge and Hyde in Greater Manchester, has previously served the Cabinet as culture secretary and has also served as pensions minister in the Department for Work and Pensions.

The 37-year-old has made the headlines for announcing Gordon Brown’s U-turn on super casinos and for reprimanding the TV channels during vote rigging and "faked footage" scandals.

But he was left red-faced last year when the NHS superimposed his image onto an official photograph after he was unable to attend the photo shoot.

During his time as pensions minister he worked on the development of the national pensions savings scheme.

Purnell says: "I am delighted to be returning to the Department for Work and Pensions, to deepen the reform of the welfare and pension systems and continue to tackle child poverty.

“My aspirations are to ensure everyone has the chance to be self-reliant in old age, and to make work the right - and the responsibility - of everyone who is capable of it.”

Add new comment