It was revealed in the Sunday Mirror yesterday that Work and Pensions Secretary and Stalybridge & Hyde MP, James Purnell has lost his red box (no laughing at the back). Purnell left his ministerial red box on a "packed train" on October 4th from Macclesfield to London. Inside the redbox was casework details from Wayne Bowers, who is currently unemployed and living in Gorton. He asked his MP, Sir Gerald Kaufman for help claiming benefits.
According to commuters on the first class Virgin Pendolino service, Purnell was acting arrogant and showing off walking up and down the train whilst leaving the confidential documents open. Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, one passenger said:
"We recognised him straight away and he seemed to be showing off a bit. He kept leaving the box and walking in and out of the carriage talking on his mobile. I think he realised people knew who he was and was playing the big man. His behaviour was unbelievable. He was very arrogant"
Sounds just like our James. Shame then that James has broken the law - the Official Secrets Act, section 8 to be precise - Crown Servants are responsible for safeguarding information. Plus also the Data Protection Act.
James Purnell's spokesperson responded to the articles by saying:
"It was one file from an MP with the attached correspondence and was returned safely within three days. Obviously, James is very sorry for the mistake. He has not broken any rules or guidelines"
Errrrr .... why is James Purnell's spokesperson responding to such a serious issue? We think we know why. Fellow Labour cabinet minister Shaun Woodward threw on a lavish £60,000 party in Marrakesh, Morocco. According to blogger, Guido Fawkes, 20 other members of the Labour party were there. We have our bets that James was there too.
We would like to remind readers that this isn't the first time that James has been careless with peoples personal data. Prior to the local elections in May, he allowed former assistant and endorsed candidate for Hyde Werneth, Claire Francis to ask for constituents National Insurance Numbers for a feedback form. The story was broken by former blogger, Tameside Eye which eventually led to local paper, the Tameside Reporter and then the Telegraph picking it up.
And it also seems an employee of a contractor for his department recently lost a memory stick with source codes and password for the Government Gateway project. Only last week a civil servant was fined £2,500 for losing confidential papers on Al Qaeda. James should suffer the same fate and be investigated by the police. On the Sunday AM show Gordon Brown showed little concern and said he hadn't had the chance to speak to James. We think he must go - you can't have one rule for one and one for the other. As our graphic indicates, Purnell is holding up two fingers to the electorate. He thinks he's bulletproof.
It seems that James Purnell is more than prone to these gaffes even though he has got rid of his office monkey, Councillor Sean Parker-Perry. So cue our latest campaign to get rid of James, every time he fucks up, you will see our new badge "Jim Nice But Dim".