- 14 updates
Gordon Brown desperately pursued celebrities to recruit as advisors as his premiership crumbled, an explosive memoir has revealed.
The former Prime Minister's close aide, Damian McBride, wrote Mr Brown tried to persuade Simon Cowell, Lorraine Kelly, Fiona Philips and Lord Sugar as his popularity slumped.
Mr McBride, who was forced to step down in 2009 in the midst of a smearing scandal, dubbed Westminster "the binge drinking capital of Britain".
He was seduced by the "dark" world of politics "like a concubine at a Roman orgy", and branded it an environment which encourages vanity, duplicity, greed, hypocrisy and cruelty.
One of Gordon Brown's closest former aides has revealed how an elaborate "political intelligence operation" with moles on the teams of rivals was developed by the former Prime Minister.
Damian McBride also admitted logging into Mr Brown's office email and leaking details from confidential or restricted documents, without the former Chancellor's knowledge.
Mr McBride's book "Power Trip" begins serialisation into today's Daily Mail and will be published in time for the Labour party conference, taking place next week.
Cabinet ministers were bullied out of posts by Gordon Brown's former advisor who leaked information about their private lives to the press, the man himself has admitted.
In his memoir "Power Trip", published today in the Daily Mail, Damien McBride admits to coercing former Home Secretary John Reid into quitting by leaking details of "drinking, fighting and carousing" to the press.
Lord Reid was singled out because he was the last remaining threat to Gordon Brown's chances of leading the Labour party.
Mr McBride started leaking the contents of what he called "a little black book" filled with sordid details of Lord Reid's private escapades.
One story leaked was based around a "drink fuelled indecent proposal" in which Lord Reid turned to one of Mr Brown's closest allies, Dawn Primarolo, and allegedly said at the Commons bar: "I want sex with you."
Gordon Brown's former spin doctor has publicly laid bare the lies, deceit and vendettas at the heart of the former Prime Minister's time in power.
He told the Daily Mail how, when Mr Brown was still Chancellor, Mr McBride took out a potential threat to his employer's leadership bid by fabricating a briefing war between the then Home Secretary, Charles Clarke and a key Blair advisor.
Damien McBride was forced to resign in 2009 when he was exposed at the heart of a potential smear campaign against Conservative MPs.
Mr McBride's book, Power Trip, is serialised in the Daily Mail but will be published in full next week - just in time for the Labour party conference.