James Forsyth

Strange bedfellows

Strange bedfellows
Text settings

As the row over Naomi Campbell’s testimony at Charles Taylor’s war crimes trial fills up acres of space in the newspapers and hours of airtime for the news channels, I can’t help but remembering the friendship between the model and Sarah Brown. Brown even selected Campbell as her 21st century heroine in a 2009 Harpers Bazaar poll, praising her as a “loyal friend”.

Now, it should be stressed that the work Brown and Campbell did together was for a series of worthwhile causes, improving maternal health and helping Haiti post-earthquake. But it struck me as surprising at the time that a savvy former PR woman married to the Prime Minister chose such a controversial friend. Just imagine how the press would be reacting to Campbell’s appearance in the Hague if Gordon Brown was still Prime Minister.