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, 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.