James Forsyth

Strange bedfellows

Strange bedfellows
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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.