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James Mark Dakin Purnell is a British broadcasting executive and a former politician. In late September 2016, he was appointed as the BBC's Director of Radio, and will take up his position at the end of October in addition to his other role as the BBC's Director of Strategy and Digital, a job he has held since March 2013.

The Right Honourable
James Purnell Ministerial portrait.jpg
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
In office
24 January 2008 – 4 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Peter Hain
Succeeded by Yvette Cooper
Secretary of State for Culture,
Media and Sport
In office
28 June 2007 – 24 January 2008
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Tessa Jowell
Succeeded by Andy Burnham
Minister of State for Pensions
In office
5 May 2006 – 28 June 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Stephen Timms
Succeeded by Mike O'Brien
Member of Parliament
for Stalybridge and Hyde
In office
8 June 2001 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by Tom Pendry
Succeeded by Jonathan Reynolds
Islington Borough Councillor
for Canonbury East Ward
In office
5 May 1994 – 12 October 1995
Succeeded by Terence Herbert
Personal details
Born (1970-03-02) 2 March 1970 (age 46)
London, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party None
Other political
affiliations
Labour ()
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford

James Mark Dakin Purnell (born 2 March 1970) is a British broadcasting executive and a former politician. In late September 2016, he was appointed as the BBC's Director of Radio, and will take up his position at the end of October in addition to his other role as the BBC's Director of Strategy and Digital, a job he has held since March 2013.

Purnell was previously a British Labour Party politician, being the Member of Parliament (MP) for Stalybridge and Hyde from the 2001 general election until the 2010 general election. He served as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport from 2007 to 2008 and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2008 until 2009. He resigned from the Government on 4 June 2009, criticising the leadership of Gordon Brown.

He became the director of the Open Left project for Demos in 2009, and Purnell chaired of the Institute for Public Policy Research until 2010 and a Senior Advisor in the Public Sector practice of the Boston Consulting Group. He is also a film producer, and a former Senior Producer at Rare Day, who produced the film One Mile Away.

Purnell and Glover on the future of the BBC - Newsnight

James Purnell, Director of Strategy at the BBC and Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover debate the government consultation paper on the future of the BBC.

James Purnell, UK Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

THE FRANCE 24 INTERVIEW: UK Secretary of State for Work and Pensions James Purnell shares his view on the future of the Labour party, the war in Iraq, ...

James Purnell speaks to Conference.

James Purnell MP, Labour's Secretary of State for Work and Pensions speaks to Conference.

James Purnell MP addresses Conference

Labour's Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport addresses the Labour Party Conference.

James Purnell visits the Dewsbury Moor Estate

James Purnell visits the Dewsbury Moor Estate to listen to local residents.

How can the BBC address the gender pay gap? - BBC Newsnight

How is pay for top BBC presenters decided? And how can the BBC get rid of the gender pay gap? Kirsty Wark asks James Purnell, the BBC's director of radio ...