Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Perhaps the best leader Labour never had (© Fraser Nelson in The Spectator), James Purnell, is still getting press flak over his career development.

Downing Street (under Boris or Theresa ?) has indicated that his latest role, overseeing education output at the BBC, is a matter for the BBC. That seems to apply as well to rumours that he's lined up to manage network radio from the autumn.

This morning, The Times (paywalled) has found former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, presumably now back from clubbing in Ibiza, who opines on the matter thus: "I do have concerns about somebody who has played a very prominent role in a political party then going on to have an editorial job in the BBC . . . to become head of BBC radio puts him even closer to determining content and taking editorial decisions.”

"I have a lot of time for James Purnell and think he is an able man and has done a good job, but you can’t escape the fact that he is a lifelong Labour politician who served in the last Labour government.”

Few former Culture Secretaries have made a career in broadcasting, save for the first Minister for Fun/National Heritage, David Mellor, still building his CD collection by hanging on to a Sunday review show on Classic FM. Imagine the hoo-ha if we were now talking about a former Tory minister running BBC Radio....


  1. And on a more serious subject - a lot of Twitter flak over:

  2. I particularly liked:
    "A lot of upset over Mrs Brown's Boys being voted best sitcom, but how many of you bothered to go down to the Radio Times polling station?"


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