James Purnell, new Work & Pensions secretary
In 1996 Purnell was one of three Islington councillors who were sued for libel by fellow Labour councillor Liz Davies.  Davies had previously been selected as the Labour Party prospective parliamentary candidate for Leeds North East, but the selection had been vetoed by the party’s National Executive Committee. Part of the evidence to the NEC had centred around Davies’ willingness to abide by the Labour Whip in Parliament, with reference to her time as a member of the Labour group in Islington. Liz Davies claimed that, in their evidence before the NEC, the three councillors had claimed she incited violence during a committee meeting. This led to an out-of-court settlement, under which the three apologised for the allegations they had made and made contributions to the general election campaign of the local MP, Jeremy Corbyn.
Prior to becoming a cabinet minister, Purnell has repeatedly been one of the most expensive MPs in the United Kingdom and being confirmed as the most expensive in Greater Manchester, with expenses in 2004 of more than £120,000.