Purnell is a classic Nulab/BBC apparatchik. Before become a Downing Street adviser in1997 he was BBC Head of Corporate Planning.
Prior to that he worked for the left wing think tank - the Institute of Public Policy Research.
While still a student, prior to the 1992 election, he worked as a researcher for Tony Blair. At that time Ed Richards worked in the next door office for Gordon brown and was later to become BBC Controller of Corporate Strategy.
So the two key people in charge of the BBC's strategic direction in the run up to Labour's 1997 election victory had previously respectively worked for New Labour's two principal players - and would return to work for them again soon afterwards.
Does anybody believe this was a coincidence?
Did these appointments reflect the BBC's legal obligation to political impartiality?