An Audience with Alistair Campbell

ALISON CROOSE King's Lynn Corn Exchange

ALISON CROOSE

He has been described as a control freak, even villainous. While Tony Blair's former director of communications and strategy did not exactly appear a pussy cat, he did have some charm.

It was displayed when he was not reeking vengeance on the media – but fortunately he excluded the regional press from his vitriolic outpourings. It seemed an obvious case of poacher-turned-gamekeeper when the Daily Mirror's former political editor voiced such disdain of journalists.

In joining the procession of politicians and decision-makers touring the country giving “an audience”, he also displayed very reasonable concerns about public apathy for politics and the dumming down of political debate.

About 200 people - including Campbell's mother, partner Fiona Millar and children – were given an insight into the man who has been the butt of so much criticism. He admitted public reaction had softened since he started running marathons for Leukaemia Research.

His passion for the Labour cause was never far from the surface and when asked why he didn't become a politician, he did not rule it out.

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As a speaker he was assured and interesting and his many questioners – covering topics from the Iraq war to European football - caused him no discomfort.

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