In 1994 the Labour party was shocked by the sudden death of its leader John Smith. Smith had been seen as a left-leaning moderate who was bringing the party closer to electability. He was succeeded by a young and dynamic new leader, Tony Blair. Blair recognised that Smith’s then press secretary Alastair Campbell would be a valuable asset to continue with as they sought reelection for the first time in 18 years. Campbell supported Blair during his attempt to become leader of the party. For the next 3 years his management of the party’s Media presence in the public eye was instrumental for the victory that was to come.
In 1997 Labour secured the largest majority in their political history. The party further recognised Campbells skills in the world of Media by making him its director of communications and strategy. It was Campbell’s responsibility to take the new Labour government message and portray it to the media and the public. However his Talents and skills were not just used in this way. He was also a major advisor to Blair on many political matters.
He was seen by many in the establishment and wider public as being one of the most powerful people in the government at the time. Although he was not an MP he was regularly seen in debates on such programs as Question time and other political programmes.
He resigned from his position in 2003 following the Iraq war but continued to informally advise Blair and the government after this. You can still read his thoughts and opinions at www.theneweuropean.co.uk/contributor/alastair-campbell/.