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Campbell promises £10k if Tories back alcohol pricing

Alastair Campbell, the former director of communications to former Labour prime minister Tony Blair, has promised in a tweet to donate £10,000 to the Conservative party if they back minimum unit pricing for alcohol.

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It will make me feel unclean to be Tory donor but if David Cameron commits to Minimum Unit Pricing I will make 10k donation to Tory party

Campbell has written extensively about his drinking problem which caused him to give up alcohol aged 27, and said in September that Britain needed to admit it had a drinking problem.

Read more: The first step for Britain is to admit it has a drinking problem, by Alastair Campbell

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Burnley the most enterprising city in the UK

Burnley is the most enterprising area of the UK, with a "pioneering" culture and economic prospects, according to the Government.

The Lancashire town won one of four categories in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills' Enterprising Britain Awards.

Former Number 10 press secretary Alastair Campbell told Daybreak how the Lancashire market town benefitted enormously from the community spirit of local entrepreneurs.

He said: "One of the best things that happened in Burnley was that local businesses came together in what is called a Bondholder scheme and basically started to cooperate, work together on a deliberate strategic plan to promote Burnley in a better light."

'Hugely irresponsible' if world does not act on Syria

Former Number 10 Director of Communications Alastair Campbell told ITV's Daybreak it would be "hugely irresponsible and incredibly dangerous" if the world does not act on the Syria conflict.

When pressed whether that meant action in Syria, Mr Campbell said he thought it would be "very, very hard for the world to stand aside giving what we know has happened even before the use of chemical weapons".

Mr Campbell, who was Tony Blair's spin doctor between 1997 and 2003, said both the former Prime Minister's article in The Times (£) and David Cameron's statement on Syria were "measured".

Mr Campbell, who was Number 10's Director of Communications when the Iraq war started in 2003, added that the United Nations "isn't a judgement body, it's a political body".

Read: Leaders agree Syria chemical weapons use cannot be ignored

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Sir Menzies Campbell: Murdoch aimed to steer Blair in direction of US

Sir Menzies Campbell Credit: ITV News

Responding to Alastair Campbell's earlier comments, the Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said: "Why on earth would Rupert Murdoch ring Tony Blair three times in the week before the invasion of Iraq if he was not trying to influence the British prime minister?

"Mr Murdoch's intervention was clearly designed to steer Tony Blair in the direction of those in the United States, including [US President] Bush, who were determined to take action against Saddam Hussein and to ignore illegality."

Campbell: 'Hey Tony, you've got to go to war' overstates it

Alastair Campbell has told the BBC's Today programme that Tony Blair's views on Iraq were well known and that Rupert Murdoch did not influence them. He said:

I wasn't listening to the call but I do record Tony Blair's mild irritation and our feeling that this was just part of pressure ... I don't think there is a single person in the world who was not aware of what Tony Blair's view was on Iraq and how much his determination was to ensure that Saddam Hussein was dealt with ... I don't think you can say this was Rupert Murdoch saying 'hey Tony, you've got to go to war'. I think that really does overstate it.

Alastair Campbell: Murdoch said 'nothing inappropriate'

Tony Blair's former spokesman Alastair Campbell has sought to "contextualise" comments in his diary that suggest Rupert Murdoch lobbied the Prime Minister over the Iraq war.

Writing in his blog, Mr Campbell says he supports New Corporation's point that he has no evidence to back up his claim, pointing out that the comments were only a small aside in his account of a busy day:

It is ... evidence of the extraordinary topicality and controversy of the Murdoch brand that out of 700 pages of a book covering the momentous period from 9/11 to the Iraq War, The Guardian should lead their coverage on a very short entry about this phone call.

He also writes that Mr Murdoch's comments were "nothing inappropriate".

There was actually nothing inappropriate in what he [Rupert Murdoch] said. He was clearly wanting to signal support, and given TB’s [Tony Blair's] views on Iraq, and his determination to deal with Saddam absolute, it is really pushing it to suggest this call contradicts Murdoch’s statement that he ‘never asked a Prime Minister for anything.’ TB was clearly irritated though, and we did feel the arguments were those coming at us in all directions from the US Administration.

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