Peter Hoskin

Charlie Whelan’s trail of resentment

Charlie Whelan's trail of resentment
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Guido's keeping shtum about how he got his hands on the McBride emails, so it's worth highlighting this passage in today's Guardian:

"Some Labour sources were pointing the finger at the Unite trade union which is riven by splits. Charlie Whelan, the union's political director who is a former Brown aide, was copied into the email, as was his aide Andrew Dodgshon. There is no suggestion that either of them leaked the emails, but there is a suspicion that one of Whelan's many enemies in the union may have. One Unite source said: 'There is no shortage of people who would be prepared to leak those emails. People are queueing up to punch Charlie's lights out.'"

The final quote calls to mind Alastair Campbell's comments to Hugo Young on p.542 of the Hugo Young Papers.  Given events, they're worth reprinting here:

"There is the wider problem of unattributable briefings. [Campbell] himself, he said, had gone over to attributable briefings in order to try and get things straighter.  He claimed (!) to say virtually nothing off the record that he would not say on - 'except the swearing'.

But Charlie Whelan was different.  There had been plenty of problems, especially with the FT.  The Treasury give FT people a briefing, and then I rubbish it - and then quite reasonably the FT journalist says what the hell is he meant to make of that...

He believes that the basic necessity to have been learned from this is that people should not talk about each other. It was all very well in opposition, but Charlie still behaves as though we are in opposition. In government, it is much more sensitive.

The fact is that [Gordon Brown's] relation with colleagues are not good. Blunkett, Straw, Cook, Prescott: they don't trust him - and that is Whelan's fault (AC just about said)."