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June 2nd 2003, on the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq:

“TB was still in ‘it’s ridiculous’ mode and getting more and more irritated by what was essentially a media-driven thing. The main problem of course was that there were no WMD discoveries beyond the two labs, and no matter how much we said that there were other priorities now, the public were being told as a matter of fact that we had done wrong. We had Clare Short, Robin Cook and a lot of backbenchers on the rampage now. So it was difficult.”

Anthony Browne, director of the think-tank Policy Exchange and prior to that the chief political correspondent of The Times, is plucking out the most interesting passages from the just published Alastair Campbell diaries for Coffee House.