McBride was 'out of control'

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has accused Gordon Brown's former aide Damian McBride of being "out of control" following revelations in his memoirs of his time as a Downing Street spin doctor.

Campbell: McBride's book 'will be forgotten in no time'

Former director of communications at Number 10 Alastair Campbell has told ITV's Daybreak that his "anger" with Damian McBride has nothing to do with his new book "which will be forgotten in no time" but by his "utterly despicable behaviour" while in government.

Read: Alastair Campbell - Gordon Brown's ex-aide 'broke the law'

Mr Campbell said the tactics employed by Gordon Brown's former spin doctor, who has released his memoirs, was "one of the reasons we now have a Conservative government".

Tony Blair's former communications chief also spoke to the ITV show about Britain's "problem with booze".

In an article for ITV News last week, Mr Campbell said the first step for Britain was to admit it had a drink problem.

Alexander says he 'paid the price' for opposing McBride

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander has told Labour activists he "paid a price" for opposing former Brown aide Damian McBride's "destructive" style of politics.

Mr Alexander was hit by claims in the spin doctor's book that he ''dispassionately'' advised Gordon Brown that his sister would have to quit her role as the party's Scottish leader.

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander.
Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Wendy Alexander stood down from the post in 2008 following a row about donations to her leadership campaign.

Mr Alexander told the Progress rally: "What Damian McBride represented wasn't just the way politics is or just some briefing, it was destructive, divisive and deeply damaging to our party."

Advertisement

Spin doctor confirms Miliband told Brown to sack him

In an exchange with the Daily Telegraph diarist Tim Walker on Twitter, former spin doctor Damian McBride confirmed Ed Miliband had told Gordon Brown to sack him:

1c576e358e4c8deb8fa2f30ff1ec9ffd_normal

@ed_miliband claims he told Gordon to sack @dpmcbride. I just can't see Ed having the guts. When will @officegsbrown confirm or deny this?

84a89b55f2c9ff0841020b1fc62c849d_normal

.@thattimwalker I can confirm that myself Tim. He complained about me and told Gordon to get rid. Quite right too.

84a89b55f2c9ff0841020b1fc62c849d_normal

.@thattimwalker I don't know what tone he used, Tim, but remember he did succeed in getting me removed from my press briefing job, Oct '08.

Yvette Cooper: McBride was 'out of control'

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has accused Gordon Brown's former aide Damian McBride of being "out of control".

Cooper, whose husband Ed Balls was a key Brownite, told Sky News' Murnaghan programme: "I think this is ... about a kind of politics that really is appalling, that we should never go back to.

"It is something that happened some years ago, but I think it's a sign of how much the Labour Party has changed, the very different climate, the very different way in which Ed Miliband is managing things and operating things now, that's a good thing.

"We don't want to go back to the navel gazing of the past."

Alastair Campbell: Brown's ex-aide 'broke the law'

Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former spin doctor, has accused Damian McBride of breaking the law by leaking the content of confidential documents from government computers, raising the possibility of a police investigation, according to the Sunday Times (£).

Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former spin doctor pictured in 2003. Credit: Chris Young/PA

Mr Campbell branded McBride, who was Gordon Brown’s spin doctor, a “shyster” and said he “has admitted not just to venality but criminality”.

Mr Campbell said: “I think the other thing that people should be aware of is he [McBride] has admitted to criminal offences in this,”

Brown 'to blame for corrupt antics' of spin doctor

Former Labour Minister Tessa Jowell has said Gordon Brown is to blame for the "disgusting and corrupt" antics of his Downing Street spin doctor Damian McBride.

Dame Tessa Jowell said Gordon Brown is to blame for 'corrupt antics' of spin doctor. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

"There was a corrupt culture which had nothing to do with serving the British people but was about personal ambition," she said in an interview with The Mail on Sunday.

"I feel sickened it was not just tolerated but encouraged at the heart of government. Gordon is not an innocent, it is inconceivable he did not know what Damian was doing".

Advertisement

Brown considered putting troops on street, says ex-aide

Gordon Brown considered enforcing a curfew and putting troops on the streets as the severity of the banking crisis began to sink in, his former spin doctor has revealed.

Damian McBride said the discussion of the drastic measures came in the days after the collapse of Northern Rock in 2008 and the night before he announced his public bailout of the banks, fearing a "total meltdown of the financial system of the Western world".

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown addressing troops in 2009. Credit: PA

In an extract of his book, serialised in the Daily Mail, Mr McBride wrote that Mr Brown said to him: "You don't understand...If the banks are shutting their doors, and the cashpoints aren't working, and people go to Tesco and their cards aren't being accepted, the whole thing will just explode.

"It'll be anarchy. That's what could happen tomorrow. I'm serious, I'm serious... We'd have to think: do we have curfews, do we put the Army on the streets, how do we get order back?"

Ed Miliband denies involvement in 'smear campaign'

Labour leader Ed Miliband has been forced to deny any involvement in attempts to smear opponents amid claims that "damaging" emails could have been sent by him to one of the key figures in a plot to attack senior Tories.

The claims from Gordon Brown's former spin doctor Damian McBride threatens to overshadow the Labour Party conference despite Mr Miliband's efforts to seize the initiative by announcing he would scrap the "bedroom tax" if he wins the 2015 general election.

A spokesman for Mr Miliband said:

Ed was not involved in any plan to smear or spread lies about opponents. Any suggestion he was is totally untrue.

Read more: Jowell: Miliband knew of spin doctor's activities

Ed Balls says he was 'part of Brownite macho cabal'

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has been forced to distance himself from former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Damian McBride, his spin doctor, after he confessed to a series of political assassinations on behalf of Mr Brown, according to an interview with The Times (£).

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and current shadow chancellor Ed Balls pictured in 2008. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Mr Balls admitted to being part of the damaging "macho" cabal around Mr Brown, but insists that he had no knowledge of “three hideous smears” against John Reid, Charles Clarke and Ivan Lewis and claims that he resisted attempts by Mr Brown to undermine Alistair Darling, then Chancellor.

Former Cabinet minister Tessa Jowell, who served in Government under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, told BBC News that while she was "sure" Ed Miliband was aware of the activities of the then-prime minister's special adviser, it would not damage his position now.

Read more: Miliband 'knew of aide's work'

Jowell: Miliband knew of spin doctor's activities

Labour leader Ed Miliband knew about the activities of disgraced former spin doctor Damian McBride, according to Dame Tessa Jowell.

The former Cabinet minister, who served in Government under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, told BBC News that extracts from Mr McBride's book Power Trip about the "malign and awful" briefings against senior Labour figures were "truly shocking".

Labour leader Ed Miliband at Prime Minister's Questions
Labour leader Ed Miliband knew about the activities of Damian McBride, Dame Tessa Jowell has said. Credit: PA/PA Wire

Dame Tessa insisted that while she was "sure" Mr Miliband, who was a close ally of Mr Brown, was aware of the activities of the then-prime minister's special adviser, it would not damage his position now.

"One of the most important things that Ed Miliband has done is to outlaw this kind of briefing in his shadow cabinet," she added.

Load more updates