This entry was posted on
Monday, February 7th, 2005 at
9:31 am and is filed
under UK General Election 2005.
Independent – Official: Campbell back on party payroll to head Blair’s ‘dirty tricks’ unit: Although Labour has admitted previously that Mr Campbell was acting as a “consultant”, his appointment to a full-time titled position is revealed for the first time today.
There’s also this juicy snippet: His reappearance could also upset relations between Mr Blair and Gordon Brown, further damaged last week by renewed speculation that the Chancellor is to be moved to the Foreign Office if Labour wins a third term. Jack Straw, the current occupant, has told friends that he blames “people in No 10″ for briefing The Times and The Sun about the story. “He feels that it risked undermining him, especially as it appeared just as Condoleezza Rice was about to arrive,” one said. “It was a competition as to who was more furious, Brown or Straw,” another said.
Ooh, and a very quick response from Mr Milburn on the Labour website: “For the record, people should know that Alastair Campbell, who I am delighted to see back in the Labour team for the election campaign, had nothing whatever to do with the Freedom of Information requests that have become the subject of a good deal of media comment.”
But what sticks with me is how cocky Blair seems. Campbell was Head Bullshit Artist when Blair was making false/dubious claims about WMD… his return to the spotlight (he was never really out of action) is a bold move that suggests that Blair thinks (or his pollsters confirm) that the Iraqi elections make that little problem go away.
UPDATE – An unrelated extra… Europhobia – BNP in favour of Veritas?
UPDATE – A related extra… Chicken Yoghurt – Race for the bottom