Ex-journalist Ben Bradshaw is new culture secretary

Ben Bradshaw, a former BBC and regional newspaper journalist, has been appointed the new culture, media and sport secretary.

He replaces Andy Burnham, who had been in the job for 17 months and was yesterday promoted to health secretary as part of prime minister Gordon Brown’s cabinet reshuffle.

Bradshaw’s appointment at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport means ministerial responsibility for the BBC will be held by one of its former employees.

Bradshaw’s career in journalism began in 1984 on the Exeter Express & Echo. He then joined the BBC as a reporter for BBC Devon and was made the corporation’s Berlin correspondent in 1989, covering the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in East Germany.

After his stint at the BBC he won the Exeter seat in the 1997 general election.

After one parliament on the backbenches, Bradshaw became a junior minister in the Foreign Office in 2001, and was deputy leader of the Commons and environment minister before joining the Department of Health in 2007.

In June 2006, he became the first MP to enter into a civil partnership when he tied the knot with long-term partner Neal Dalgleish.

Bradshaw joins the DCMS at a crucial time for the media industry as the government prepares the final Digital Britain report, due to be published on or near 16 June.

The report is being led by the communications minister Lord Stephen Carter, but DCMS is joint sponsor along with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).

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