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  1. ITV Report

Alastair Campbell: I tried to get Charles Kennedy to confront his drink problem

Broadcaster and journalist Alastair Campbell has spoken of his friendship with former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy, which initially stemmed from their mutual battle with alcohol, which he describes as their 'shared enemy'.

Speaking to ITV News presenter Mark Austin about his close friend, Mr Campbell said he was "one of the few people" Mr Kennedy spoke to about his drink problem and disclosed that he tried to get Mr Kennedy to admit and confront the issue.

He said: "When you are the leader of one the main political parties in Britain and you are going through what most of the media, and most of the people in politics knew was a real problem, there are not many places that you can go.

"And the thing I always tried to do with Charles was to get him to admit it and confront it"

He added that it was "very difficult" for Mr Kennedy to know who he could trust or confide in at Westminster about his drink problem because "there are lots of people there who want to exploit the difficulties of other politicians."

Describing his friend as "funny, clever, engaging and flawed", Mr Campbell said Mr Kennedy also had a "real ability to connect with people."

Alastair Cambell was a close friend of former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy. Credit: Andrew Milligan / PA Archive/PA Images

The former Labour spin doctor said politics needs more people like Mr Kennedy who appealed to "all classes and all regions" and added that Westminster had "not just lost a big character but a good, fine political mind".

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