Damian mcbride

Straight talking, honest politics? Damian McBride is hired as Lady Nugee’s media adviser

Back in 2009 Damian McBride had to step down from his role as Gordon Brown’s advisor after leaked emails revealed that he had been part of a proposed sex smear campaign against the Tories. The emails showed that McBride was embroiled in a plot to damage the reputations of senior Tories with smears relating to their private lives. While Ed Miliband took steps to distance himself from McBride during his time as Labour leader, it appears there is a space for the disgraced spinner in Corbyn’s ‘straight talking, honest politics’. McBride has been hired as Lady Nugee’s media advisor. The Huffington Post reports that the disgraced spinner applied for the job serving

Damian McBride dobs in ‘two-faced’ Cameron over GMTV slip up

When David Cameron was photographed scoffing Pringles on an Easy Jet flight over the summer, he became the subject of much mockery online. However, there was one woman who fiercely leapt to his defence, arguing that he deserved better than a budget snack on a budget airline. ‘David Cameron deserves official jet,’ Fiona Phillips declared in the Mirror. ‘He’s our Prime Minister for goodness sake.’ Alas, Phillips may soon be rethinking her approach when it comes to the Prime Minister. It appears that any fondness the former GMTV presenter holds towards Cameron — who she has met a number of times — is not reciprocated. During a Media Focus talk, Damian McBride recalls a conversation Cameron once had about Phillips

Is Damian McBride angling for a job as Jeremy Corbyn’s spin doctor?

Given that Jeremy Corbyn has been on the receiving end of a barrage of bad press this morning, he could do with the help of an expert spinner. Yet everyone who has cared about the Labour Party over the years is appalled at his triumph; no one is willing to defend him. No one, that is, except the currently ‘freelance’ former king of spin, Damian McBride. The disgraced spin doctor appears to have been on a mission to endear himself to Corbyn ever since he won the leadership election on Saturday. He kicked things off with an editorial in the Mail on Sunday titled ‘Jeremy Corbyn may be the best thing since Clement Attlee’. Yes, seriously. Corbyn,

Damian McBride offers three-point guide for surviving the next financial crash

With reports starting to claim that the next global financial crisis is on the horizon, one could be forgiven for thinking it’s all doom and gloom. So Steerpike was cheered to see that Labour’s former king of spin Damian McBride is on hand to put everyone’s minds at rest. McBride says that he has been preparing for the day for a while now: For 18 months, the first thing I've done waking up on a weekday is search 'Shanghai Composite' on Twitter. This has been coming a long time. — Damian McBride (@DPMcBride) August 24, 2015 As a result, he’s perfectly placed to offer a three-point guide on how to respond to the nascent

Balls tries to defuse the tax bombshell

Ed Balls’ interview with the Telegraph today is a demonstration of what he learnt working for Gordon Brown in opposition. He is at pains to deny that he is planning any major tax rises; he doesn’t want to give the Tories the chance to claim Labour are planning a ‘tax bombshell’. He stresses that he understands that ‘People feel they are paying too much tax already’ and emphasises that he ‘would rather all tax rates were lower’. He also explicitly rules out a National Insurance increase to pay for extra spending on the NHS and a so-called ‘death tax’. Interestingly, Balls also restates his desire to limit EU immigration. He

Labour run a mile from ‘nuts’ McBride return

Mr Steerpike’s suggestion that things could be getting so bad for Labour that they may have to call on the services of Damian McBride, based on the disgraced former spin doctor’s helpful recent interventions, has ruffled a few feathers in Westminster. A Labour source pours an ice bucket on the idea: ‘I think it’s an audition for a post-2015 role. But it’s nuts. The book killed him. It made any return a delusion. He could have apologised. Instead he was smug. Disgusting.’ We’ll take that as a maybe then. Predictably the Conservatives are gleeful at the prospect of McBride redux. A Tory source teases: ‘Labour need all the help they can

Damian McBride’s Labour audition

Is Damian McBride auditioning for a job as the saviour of the Labour Party spin operation? His re-energised blogging would certainly indicate as much. In the last few weeks the Brownite bad boy has left his job with Catholic aid charity Cafod, and returned to writing full time. He’s also managed to make a compelling argument for why his misdemeanours cannot now be compared to those of Andy Coulson, despite the best efforts of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor: ‘So if the Tories want to keep using the ‘What about Damian McBride?’ line, then so be it, but they cannot then dodge the follow-up question: ‘Fine, if you want

Meet Gordon Brown, comedian

You would normally have to pay thousands of pounds for the pleasure, but Mr S and the Westminster hack pack were treated to a Gordon Brown speech for free on Monday lunchtime. In a rare Westminster sighting, the former Prime Minister had his gawky fake smile glued in place as he reflected on his tumultuous relationship with the media while he addressed the Parliamentary Press Gallery about the campaign to save the Union. Brown has clearly seen that wind will blow the way of the No campaign and is getting involved late in the day – just in time to grab the glory. He once claimed to have saved the world,

The Catholic bishops of England need Damian McBride’s help

Most Coffeehousers are probably profoundly and justifiably cynical about anything masquerading as a consultation exercise in politics, so it might spread a little cheer to see how the Catholic Church goes about it. There’s been a surprising fuss – BBC news coverage; leader in The Times – about Catholic bishops consulting the laity about matters relating to the family. But although it is indeed quite something for the laity to be asked about anything (their views, mind you, aren’t conclusive, so nothing new there) the manner in which the bishops are doing it is fabulously anachronistic, gloriously uncompromising. To put it in context, the bishops are having what’s known as

Lib Dem spinner: Damian McBride saved my life

Phil Reilly, a Lib Dem spinner, was hit by a car earlier today. He says that a hardback copy of Power Trip by Damian McBride, contained in a bag slung over his shoulder, took the brunt of the impact. ‘It’s possible a copy of @DPMcBride’s book saved my life,’ he tweeted. Readers will recall that Telegraph hack Matthew Holehouse survived being hit by a car last month when he ran across a road in Brighton to witness copies of McBride’s book being sold. Mr Steerpike recommends that Damian McBride fronts a road safety campaign.

Damian McBride: press regulation ‘disgusts me’

It was one of those parties where it was more interesting to see who wasn’t there, than who was. Last night, Damian McBride raised a glass at the Intercontinental in Westminster to his book Power Trip, which its publisher says is now on the third print run. After it dominated the Labour conference, it was no surprise that barely a single Labour MP turned up (save for Tom Watson, who free from the constraints of Shadow Cabinet, made his considerable presence felt). More interesting though were McBride’s views on press regulation: ‘The journalists in this room do a fantastically important job, including the bloggers, who expose wrongdoing and hold people to

Do we really need to turn the mentally ill into victims?

Public wrath has finally moved from the Daily Mail, and to the Sun over its splash yesterday on the mentally ill. It’s deemed especially offensive because this is apparently Mental Health Awareness Week. For some time now mental illness has been becoming the new victimhood du jour, and among the reasons is that mental illness is so spectral and ambiguous that lots of people can join in (especially journalists). Laurie Penny wrote that it was unfair to use stereotypes about mad axe man because: ‘Like a lot of people, I sometimes get depressed and anxious. On precisely none of these occasions have I flown into a murderous rage and stabbed

Eric Pickles pictures the horrors of a Labour government

Eric Pickles has a vivid imagination. He set out to remind the Conservative faithful today the dangers of letting Labour back into office, and why they, not the Tories, are the real nasty party. He painted a picture of where Britain might be if we were living under a Labour coalition: ‘Labour would have quickly lost the confidence of the markets for failing to tackle the deficit. Mortgage rates would have soared, and after that, taxes too. The Chancellor, Ed Balls, would be extending his so-called “mansion tax” to ordinary family homes…the Business Secretary – Unite’s Baron McCluskey of Mersey Docks – would be abolishing Margaret Thatcher’s trade union reforms

A history of spinners, from Robert Walpole to Damian McBride and Andy Coulson

A full colour Andy Coulson looms ominously behind a black and white David Cameron on the front cover of Andrew Blick and George Jones’s book on aides to the Prime Minister. In a week when another former prime ministerial adviser, Damian McBride, has been spilling the beans on life behind the scenes of Gordon Brown’s government, the story of the apparatchiks who work in the shadows of the people in power seems ripe for revelation. However, if this makes you think that the text is going to be filled with juicy disclosures about today’s politics then, after a compelling first chapter detailing the workings of Cameron’s Downing Street, you will

Rod Liddle: Under New Labour, it really was the loony left

There is a little vignette in the first volume of Alastair Campbell’s diaries that makes it abundantly clear that, at the time, we were being governed by people who were mentally ill. It is yet another furious, bitter, gut-churning row involving Campbell, Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson and concludes with Mandelson stamping his little feet and screaming: ‘I am sick of being rubbished and undermined! I hate it! And I want out.’ The cause of this dispute was not whether or not Labour should nationalise the top 200 companies and secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry. Don’t be silly. It was

The View from 22: Fraser Nelson interviews Damian McBride + Labour conference review

How well did Damian McBride know Ed Balls ? Is he surprised at the scale of interest and hostility towards his book? How strong was his relationship with Ed Miliband? Did journalists ever suspect he was feeding them untruths? Fraser Nelson puts all these questions to the former Labour spin doctor on this week’s View from 22 podcast (21:00), in light of his memoirs Power Trip, published this week. Labour conference is now over and three of Westminster’s top political commentators give us their opinion on how it went. Mehdi Hasan of the Huffington Post thinks it was ‘flat, flat, flatter than a pancake’, Dan Hodges of the Telegraph thinks Miliband’s speech


Gordon Brown’s gossip girls

Brown’s boot boys had a reputation for political assassination, karaoke, and curry and lager. But if Damian McBride is to be believed, they’re really just a gaggle of gossiping girls. ‘How much of an appetite for gossip does Ed Miliband have then?’ Fraser Nelson asked of McBride for this week’s Spectator podcast. ‘He’s a bit like Gordon Brown,’ replied the repentant sinner/spinner: ‘He wouldn’t declare that he was interested in that kind of thing. But if you started saying to him ‘well I think so and so is going out with so and so’ amongst his officials he would go ‘really’ and want to hear about it.  …the worst of

Fraser Nelson

Damian McBride tells The Spectator: I spoke to Ed Balls every week

When the Damian McBride scandal blew up, Ed Balls was quick to distance himself from his former colleague saying he spoke to ‘Mr McBride’ once or twice and had dealings with him when they worked in Treasury but had not had much contact since. I remember Ben Brogan (then at the Mail) blogging: ‘Liar, liar, pants on fire’ (they have taken his blog down since). It summed up the reaction of most  at Westminster. The widespread assumption was that Damian McBride and Ed Balls were key members of a close-knit group of people (eight of them, I later found out) around Gordon Brown. McBride is a guest in this week’s

Damian McBride’s book Power Trip trips up its first victim

Damian McBride’s book has bruised many Labour conference delegates, and reopened old wounds. Now I can report that it’s claimed its first physical casualty. Telegraph journalist Matthew Holehouse had been tipped off that copies of the book were selling out fast at the Waterstones stall inside the conference zone. He ran across a road to get a copy, but was hit by a car and broke his leg. Sadly, Holehouse will be out of action for weeks, though at least he will have some good reading material.