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Cabinet secretary 'warned Brown' about McBride

Gordon Brown was warned about taking controversial spin doctor Damian McBride with him from the Treasury when he became Prime Minister, a former Cabinet secretary has said.

Lord O'Donnell said the incoming Prime Minister chose to ignore his advice in 2007, which he now believed had been "damaging" to Mr Brown.

Lord O'Donnell and (left) Damian McBride.
Lord O'Donnell (left) and Damian McBride. Credit: PA/ PA Wire

Lord O'Donnell, who was speaking at an event at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, said Mr McBride had "gone off the territory" - even as a civil servant.

"I advised Gordon Brown when he was coming across to No, 10 not to take Damian with him and he chose to. Again I think that was damaging for Gordon Brown," he said.

Iain Dale to make donation to protester's charity

Iain Dale, the publisher of Gordon Brown spin Damian McBride's memoirs and political blogger, has accepted a police caution for assaulting a protester as Mr McBride was being interviewed by Daybreak.

In a statement on his site, he has apologised for his actions:

I want to apologise and say sorry to Stuart Holmes, who is a passionate campaigner and well known to everyone who attends party conferences and was perfectly entitled to do as he did on Tuesday in trying to get attention for his causes.

It was totally out of character for me to react to him in the way I did.

I also want to apologise for the blogpost I wrote after the incident.

It was full of absurd bravado and in the heat of the moment I behaved in a frankly idiotic way.

In addition, having accepted my guilt, I feel I should make some sort of reparation to Mr Holmes.

I will pay for a new placard for him and also make a donation to a charity of his choice.

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McBride: Miliband and Balls knew nothing of briefings

Damian McBride has insisted that Labou leader Ed Miliband and shadow Chancellor Ed Balls knew nothing of his toxic briefings against other cabinet members.

He told ITV News' Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship that it "would have taken something of a criminologist" to trace some of the stories he was planting in the press back to him.

He also alleges that Downing Street advisers in "Miliband's camp" briefed against Balls during Gordon Brown's last days as prime minister.

Read: Calls for Catholic charity to cut ties with McBride book

Calls for Catholic charity to cut ties with McBride book

A leading Catholic charity is facing calls to cut all ties with Damian McBride's explosive new memoir on the basis that it will "affect the charity's relationship with key political figures".

McBride is the head of media for the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and, according to his publisher Iain Dale, has agreed to donate some of his royalties to the charity.

A Twitter spat has now broken out between the editor of Catholic magazine The Tablet, who is calling for CAFOD to "disassociate" from these royalties, and Mr Dale:

A1919fbe151107d0da4986fe1f820c2f_normal

@tableteditor @dpmcbride @bbcnewsnight @cafod What a bloody stupid tweet. Why don't you wait till you have read the book before dissing it?

A1919fbe151107d0da4986fe1f820c2f_normal

@tableteditor @dpmcbride @cafod Are you serious? Mail printing 15k words. Book is 140k wds. How would people know what's in the other 125k?

Watch: Iain Dale tackles anti-nuclear protester to ground

Labour spin doctors 'operated like rogue bankers'

Damian McBride compared his activities as Gordon Brown's spin doctor to those of a "rogue trader in the 1980s", saying Labour leaders were unaware of the way he operated.

McBride told ITV's Daybreak: "I'd compare it to when we had some of the rogue bankers ... people weren't asking enough questions about how they were making their profits."

Harman: 'Most people have never heard of McBride'

Harriet Harman has denied that the Labour Party conference is being overshadowed by Damian McBride's book.

Speaking to Daybreak, the Deputy Leader said that in fact most people have never heard of the former Labour spin doctor.

Harman also said that the sorts of practices McBride claims to have undertaken do not occur in today's Labour Party:

She said: "Ed Miliband doesn't do that sort of thing, and doesn't allow anybody who works for him to behave like that."

Read: Calls for Catholic charity to cut ties with McBride book

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McBride: Book will not harm Miliband election chances

Damian McBride said he was "ashamed" of his actions of Gordon Brown's spin doctor. Credit: ITV Daybreak

Former Labour spin doctor Damian McBride has denied his controversial memoirs will damage the election ambitions of Ed Miliband, saying the party leader comes out well in his book Power Trip.

"I don't think this will make any difference to the way people vote at the next election," McBride told ITV's Daybreak, saying Miliband and shadow chancellor Ed Balls were "not involved" in any of his activities while he worked for Gordon Brown.

"I make no excuses for my behaviour and don't expect anyone else to," added McBride, who said he had operated in a political system that was "unacceptable" and "cut-throat".

Read: Calls for Catholic charity to cut ties with McBride book

Gordon Brown dodges Damian McBride questions

Gordon Brown has refused to answer questions over revelations made by his former spin doctor Damian McBride.

Mr Brown was at an event to unveil a UN-backed initiative on educating children displaced in Syria’s civil war when he was repeatedly asked by a Telegraph journalist if he condoned Mr McBride's actions which have been revealed as his new memoir has been serialised in the Daily Mail.

However the former Prime Minister appeared to completely ignore all questions regarding Mr McBride.

Note: This video has now been removed at the request of the owner, but you can watch it on the Telegraph website.

Damian McBride would be 'happy to talk to police'

Damian McBride has insisted he did not break the law while working as a Labour spin doctor and said he would be happy to speak to police if they decide to look into complaints from a Conservative MP.

Asked if he was concerned about possible prosecution, Mr McBride said:

I am sure that I wasn't committing any criminal offences. I wouldn't leak confidential documents and I would take pains to not do so.

I would be happy to talk to the police if they wanted an explanation.

Damian McBride's 'ashamed' of behaviour

Labour's former spin doctor Damian McBride said he was "ashamed" of the way he treated Labour politicians he saw as rivals to Mr Brown, but he insisted he did not break the law, and said he would be happy to speak to police if they decide to look into complaints from a Conservative MP.

Damian McBride said he was "ashamed" of the way he treated Labour politicians he saw as rivals to Mr Brown.
Damian McBride said he was "ashamed" of the way he treated Labour politicians he saw as rivals to Mr Brown. Credit: Reuters

Mr McBride said he did not believe that Ed Miliband and Ed Balls were aware of the details of his briefing activities when he was working for Gordon Brown and added that he was ready to give up his pension if the civil service felt he should.

Mr McBride said:

"I feel ashamed and sorry to those individuals whose careers I affected and even more so to the innocent bystanders that got in the way - special advisers who lost their jobs as a result of them being pushed out of government, people that were mentioned in the context of these sleazy stories."

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