Martin Bright

Damian McBride weighs in over Brown’s ‘apology DVD’

Damian McBride weighs in over Brown's 'apology DVD'
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Funny what senior Downing St staff find time to do during the biggest economic crisis for 100 years.

Here's a charming text message I received from Damian McBride, former frontline spinner turned backroom strategy man. It doesn't really need much explaining except to say that ME is Mike Ellam, the PM's mild-mannered official spokesman.

Rather disconcerting how yr 'GB orders obama dvd' tale keeps being rehashed as fact elsewhere - despite being utter garbage, as ME told you yesterday. Shouldnt you at least update yr blog with the categoric denial frm No10? - Damian

It's astonishing to me that this piece of relatively uncontroversial information should have disconcerted anyone but so be it. Let's clear this up. 

For starters, I didn't say that Gordon ordered an Obama DVD. But it's the oldest political trick in the book to deny a story that was never written.

My original source has gone to ground, presumably for fear of retribution. But I have been able to establish that Downing Street was indeed interested in the media coverage of the Obama apology. If I go any further than this I risk compromising my sources.

The denial of the existence of a compilation DVD is pretty strong so maybe the officials never got round to making it. Maybe they had better things to do.