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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Andrew Adonis to be new chair of IPPR

Andrew Adonis to take over from James Purnell.?

IPPR is delighted to announce that its new chair is Andrew Adonis. The former cabinet minister is taking over from James Purnell, who is stepping down to take a senior job at the BBC.

Lord Adonis served as Transport Secretary and Schools Minister in the last Labour government. Before entering government, he was a distinguished journalist at the Financial Times and the Observer, an academic at Oxford University and an Oxford city councillor. 

  Commenting on the appointment of Andrew Adonis, Lord Hollick, the founding trustee of IPPR, said:

"We are delighted that Andrew has agreed to become IPPR's chair at a critical time. As IPPR pursues its important mission, Andrew will be huge asset, bringing as he does exceptional experience, an extraordinary breadth of policy knowledge, contacts from across politics, and enormous enthusiasm and energy.

"Under Nick Pearce's directorship IPPR has further strengthened its position as the leading think tank in the UK, and is widely recognised for being in the vanguard of progressive policy-making.

"Andrew takes over from James Purnell who is stepping down as chair after two and half years in the role. I want to thank James for all the wisdom, skill and commitment he brought to the IPPR. We wish him all the best in the important job he is taking on at the BBC."

Andrew Adonis said about his new role:

"Like everybody involved in politics over the last 20 years, I have admired IPPR's unparalleled contribution to the development of new policy ideas, so I am delighted to become its chair.

"IPPR makes a decisive contribution to the policy debate in Britain and that is down in no small measure to my predecessor and former cabinet colleague, James Purnell, who has been an excellent chair.  

"I am really looking forward to working with my fellow trustees, and with Nick Pearce and the staff of IPPR.

"It is no exaggeration to say that the ideas that IPPR generates over the next few years have the power to shape the future direction of the UK far into the future. I am really excited to be part of this enterprise."    

Nick Pearce, Director of IPPR said:

"James Purnell has been a wonderful chair of IPPR and I have greatly enjoyed working with him. Very few people could fill his shoes but Andrew Adonis is certainly one of them. Andrew has an extraordinary ability, not just to develop policy agendas to meet the big challenges of the age, but to implement them too. He is that rare breed of a creative policy thinker who gets things done.

"I had the privilege of working with Andrew in government when he was Schools Minister and Transport Secretary, and in its last days, as a member Labour's negotiating team with the Liberal Democrats, when I was the Head of the No10 Policy Unit. In recent months we have renewed our working relationship in the development of Frontline - the new Teach First for children's social work - which Andrew has been a driving force behind. I look forward to our working together in the future."

Notes to Editors

1.    A short video interview with Andrew Adonis, recorded as he takes up his new role, is available for viewing here:;v=wlY1AUXeSl0  
2.    For more on Andrew Adonis' role in Frontline, see:  


Richard Darlington, 07525 481 602, [email protected]