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New culture secretary visits the South Bank

On his first full day as culture secretary James Purnell has visited the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank.

Culture secretary James Purnell in the Royal Festi
Culture secretary James Purnell in the Royal Festival Hall
Chief executive Michael Lynch with James Purnell M
Chief executive Michael Lynch with James Purnell MP

A former special advisor to Tony Blair, Purnell has been an MP since 2001 and has served as a junior minister at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as well as the Department for Work and Pensions.

This week he was named as Tessa Jowell's successor as secretary of state for culture, media and sport.

Arriving straight from a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, James Purnell was given a tour of the Royal Festival Hall by Southbank Centre chief executive Michael Lynch.

The minister posed for pictures in the auditorium where the stage was being prepared for Friday night's screening This is Tomorrow, a film about the history of the South Bank arts centre from the Festival of Britain to the present day.

The recent refurbishment of the South Bank concert hall was partly funded by the DCMS.

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