INSIGHT PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Ben Bradshaw MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Bradshaw has been MP for Exeter since 1997 and was made Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in the recent Cabinet reshuffle.

He was previously a Minister in the Department of Health, assuming this role in 2007. Bradshaw is seen as a moderniser and has previously criticised the stuffy atmosphere within Parliament.

Bradshaw spent his first Parliament on the backbenches. His ministerial career began in the Foreign Office in 2001 when he was made a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State. He then moved in 2002 to become Parliamentary Secretary for the Privy Council Office before entering the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2003. Bradshaw spent four years at DEFRA, the first three as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State winning promotion to Minister in 2006.

One of my best moments as a Minister according to Bradshaw, was at DEFRA when strong lobbying saw the Japanese majority on the International Whaling Commission overturned. Bradshaw said this achievement would prevent Japan and her whale hunting allies from forcing through decisions which would have seriously reduced protection for these magnificent creatures. In 2007, Bradshaw moved to the Department of Health and also became Minister for the South West, a position he vacated following his promotion DCMS.

Bradshaw is a former BBC journalist and reported on the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Of this experience, Bradshaw said Berlin was seen as a rather quiet posting where nothing much happened. Within weeks of my arrival the East Germans were revolting and with the fall of the Wall I had the biggest story of the decade on my hands. Educated in Norwich before heading to Sussex University to study German, he started his journalism career in 1984 in Exeter with the Express and Echo local newspaper. He later moved into radio journalism at BBC Radio Devon.

Bradshaw is a former Blairite who has continued to climb the ranks under Gordon Brown. Now in Cabinet, it is time for Bradshaw to shine.

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