Alastair Campbell

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Person.png Alastair Campbell   Amazon Powerbase Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-icon.png
(journalist, broadcaster, political aide, author)
Born Alastair John Campbell
25 May 1957
Keighley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Nationality British
Alma mater Gonville and Caius College Cambridge
Children 3
Party Labour

Employment.png Director of Communications and Strategy

In office
15 July 2000 - 29 August 2003

Employment.png Downing Street Press Secretary Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
2 May 1997 - 15 July 2000

Alastair Campbell (born 25 May 1957) is a British journalist, broadcaster, political aide and author, and was Director of Communications and Strategy for Prime Minister Tony Blair between 1997 and 2003.

On 27 June 2003, Alastair Campbell was interviewed by Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow. In the interview, Campbell accused the BBC of lying, after a Today Programme report claiming that he had 'sexed up' a government dossier about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.[1]

Iraq War

In the run-up to the Iraq War Alastair Campbell was involved in the preparation and release of the "September Dossier" in September 2002 and the "Iraq Dossier" (or "Dodgy Dossier") in February 2003. These documents argued the case for concern over possible weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq. Both have been criticised as overstating or distorting the actual intelligence findings. Subsequent investigation revealed that the "September Dossier" had been altered, on Campbell's orders, to be consistent with a speech given by George W Bush and statements by other United States officials. On 9 September 2002, Campbell sent a memo to John Scarlett, the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, in which Campbell directed that the British dossier be "one that complements rather than conflicts with" the US claims.[2]

Later in 2003, commenting on WMDs in Iraq he said, "Come on, you don't seriously think we won't find anything?".[3] He resigned in August 2003 during the Hutton Inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly. Kelly's view that the government exaggerated the Iraqi threat in the Iraq Dossier, told to BBC journalists Andrew Gilligan and Susan Watts, had led to Campbell battling with the BBC. When Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon revealed to Campbell that Dr Kelly had talked to the BBC, Campbell had then decided, in his own words, to use this fact to "fuck Gilligan".[4] The counsel for the Kelly family said to Lord Hutton: 'The family invite the inquiry to find that the government made a deliberate decision to use Dr Kelly as a pawn as part of its strategy in its battle with the BBC.'[5] He claimed in June 2013 that Tony Blair had "greater commitment to wartime truth" than Winston Churchill.[6]

Campbell gave evidence to the Iraq Inquiry on 12 January 2010.[7]

Psychological help

On 1 March 2015, Alastair Campbell wrote in the Sunday Express that politicians ought to follow the example of Olympic athletes by seeking psychological support to help them face the enormous pressures of office. Campbell admitted he should have sought psychological help while working in government – he left in 2003 – but he did turn to Andy McCann, Wales’s rugby team mental skills coach, for help before giving evidence in 2010 to the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War.[8]


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Exclusive: I Can Reveal the Legal Advice on Drone Strikes, and How the Establishment Worksarticle9 September 2015Craig MurrayCraig Murray reveals how Sir Daniel Bethlehem continues to bring a Zionist perspective to any legal advice emanating from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Document:The Death of David Kelly and the "Sexed Up" WMD Reportarticle21 February 2008Paul Brandon
David Halpin
Christopher Burns-Cox
Stephen Frost


  1. "Jon Snow interviews Alastair Campbell over Iraq WMD report being sexed up (2003)"
  2. Ames, Chris; Norton-Taylor, Richard (10 January 2010). "Alastair Campbell had Iraq dossier changed to fit US claims". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 'Did I say that', Observer magazine 29 March 2009
  4. "Campbell wanted source revealed". BBC News. London: BBC. 22 September 2003. Archived from the original on 12 January 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Sengupta, Kim (23 October 2010). "Forget conspiracies: the official version is scandalous enough". The Independent. London: Independent Newspapers Ltd. p. 11. Archived from the original on 24 October 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Rowena Mason (30 June 2013). "Tony Blair more truthful about war than liar Winston Churchill, says Alastair Campbell". London: The Daily Telegraph]]. Archived from the original on 12 January 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Alastair Campbell defends 'every word' of Iraq dossier". BBC News. BBC. 12 January 2011. Archived from the original on 12 January 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Ex-spin doctor Alastair Campbell wanted to punch Andrew Marr during TV interview"