James Purnell to step down as MP

By Hamish Champ

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Minister james purnell, Tony blair, Prime minister of the united kingdom, James purnell

Former licensing minister James Purnell is to stand down as an MP at the forthcoming general election. The Stalybridge and Hyde MP oversaw the...

Former licensing minister James Purnell is to stand down as an MP at the forthcoming general election.

The Stalybridge and Hyde MP oversaw the creation of the 2005 Licensing Act, which changed the face of the UK pub trade, before becoming Culture Secretary in 2007.

An MP since 2001, Purnell blotted his political copybook last year when he called on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to resign.

In a statement Purnell said the decision to leave Parliament was a tough one. "I've spent all my working life in or about Westminster. I'm looking forward to completing my project [on the future of the Left for think-tank] at Demos."

Purnell began his political career in 1992 as a researcher for Tony Blair, before being elected to Westminster in 2001.

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