“to which Mr Purnell kindly consented..”

The UK’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, James Purnell, is in trouble after a publicity photograph for the Tameside and Glossop Hospitals NHS Trust was altered to insert his image into a photo-opportunity that he didn’t attend – he was due to be there but arrived late. It’s worth studying the coverage though, because there are still contradictory statements about what went on. Purnell is quoted in the BBC report as saying, “I didn’t think a faked photo would be produced and indeed I didn’t see this photo before it went out and if I had done it wouldn’t have agreed to it.” But the same report quotes the NHS Trust, “we decided to take a photograph of Mr Purnell in the same spot very shortly after, and merge it with the earlier photograph, to which Mr Purnell kindly consented.” and the Financial Times report quotes a spokesman for Mr Purnell, “He knew they were going to merge those two photographs together but he thought it was for internal NHS use only”. And the Guardian quotes his spokeswoman, “There was no explicit conversation about merging the photos with some kind of Photoshop”. Maybe not explicit.. [Makes you wonder about other recent images.. – Ed] Adds Iain Dale has other, erm, examples..

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  • protorious

    Not just photoshopped but badly photoshopped at that.

    One would think the Secretary of State for Media would at least have his images professionally doctured.

    Possibly the laziest attempt I have seen by a politician to get a bit of positive press. That’s if he did it… does anyone believe he didn’t actually know this was going to happen?

  • Pete Baker

    “does anyone believe he didn’t actually know this was going to happen?”

    His own spokesman doesn’t believe he didn’t know..

  • joeCanuck

    Indeed Pete.
    Terribly poor judgement by quite a few people who should know better.

  • Extra, extra, read all about it. Shock as New Labour Minister tells lie for cheap photo opportunity.

    No, it doesn’t really work does it?

  • Harry Flashman

    Which one is the minister? The whole lot of ’em look like they were photoshopped in.

  • Dawkins


    Jeeze, did they pay good money for that? I didn’t know James Purnell from Adam but could tell at a glance who’d been ‘shopped in — and that by looking at your little version of the pic.