The Spectator

Reading the Campbell diaries

Reading the Campbell diaries
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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.

June 30th 2003 on going for BBC over Andrew Gilligan’s report that he sexed up the “dodgy dossier”:

“I went up to see TB, who said he didn’t want it going beyond next week. He lacked the killer instinct. His rationale was that he didn’t want every single media organisation against him.  I said we had to get it absolutely proven that we were right and use that to force a rethink of the political/journalism culture.”

July 18th, 2003 on hearing that David Kelly was dead:

“I turned on the phone and I got a message from media monitoring that Kelly had disappeared. Then a message to call the Number 10 duty clerk, very urgent. I was told Kelly had gone for a walk yesterday and his wife reported him missing this morning. I felt sick…. I could feel a juggernaut moving my way.”