Writer, communicator and strategist best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy.
Alastair Campbell is a writer, communicator and strategist best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy. Still active in Labour politics, he now splits his time between writing, speaking, charitable fundraising, politics and campaigns.
He was born in Yorkshire in 1957 and graduated from Cambridge University in 1979 with a degree in modern languages. He decided to become a journalist and worked for the Mirror and Today newspapers. In Today, he rose to become a political editor and the paper's chief political columnist. A turning point in his career was the year 1994 when he was asked by Tony Blair to be his press secretary when Mr. Blair became leader of the Labour Party. He did this for three years, and played a key role helping to create New Labour and return the Party to power.
After the 1997 election he became the Prime Minister's Chief Press Secretary and Official Spokesman, which entailed the co-ordination of Government communications and twice daily briefings of the press. He did this job for Labour's first term but after helping Mr. Blair win a second landslide election victory, he became Director of Communications and Strategy. In his time in Downing Street he was involved in all the major policy issues and international crises. He did this until he resigned in September 2003 for personal reasons. He returned to the Labour Party for six months prior to the 2005 general election and continued to advise the party informally under Gordon Brown.
He is one of the party's most in-demand speakers at fundraising and motivational events, and was a founder of the Go Fourth campaign aimed at focusing Party activists and the public on the need to understand the real choices facing Britain. Together with former sports minister Richard Caborn, he pulled together two of the most successful fundraising dinners in Labour's history, both on the theme of sport at Wembley stadium.
Passionate about sport, he has written about different sports for The Times, the Irish Times and Esquire magazine. He was communications adviser to the British and Irish Lions rugby tour of New Zealand in 2005. His charity projects have involved him playing football with both Diego Maradona and Pele, and appearing in a one off version of the popular TV programme, The Apprentice. His main hobbies are running, cycling, bagpipes and following Burnley FC. He took up running eight years ago and participates at running events for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Fund regularly. He is the charity's chairman of fundraising, currently focused on seeking fifty donations of 50,000 pounds for the charity's fiftieth anniversary.
In July 2007, he published extracts from his diaries from 1994 to 2003 under the name The Blair Years and it became an instant Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller. He is now in the process of publishing four volumes of the full diaries. His first novel, All In The Mind, appeared in November 2008. It received excellent reviews for its frank examination of mental illness. His second novel Maya, an analysis of fame and the obsession it attracts, was published in February 2010.
In October 2008 Alastair broadcast an award-winning one hour documentary on BBC2 about his own breakdown in 1986. Both the film, Cracking Up, and All In The Mind, won considerable praise from mental health charities and campaign groups for helping to break down the taboo surrounding mental health. He received the Mind Champion of the Year award in May 2009 in recognition of his work to break down the stigma around mental illness, and continues to campaign on the issue.
What he presents:
- Leadership and strategy
- Change management
- Crisis management
- Dealing with the media