Alastair Campbell claims David Cameron is his natural sucessor – Cheltenham Literature Festival

12 10 2009

Alastair Campbell, the former press secretary to Tony Blair, has claimed David Cameron is actually his natural successor, rather than the ”heir to Blair”.

Alastair Campbell has claimed that David Cameron is his natural successor

Alastair Campbell: David Cameron is my natural successor Photo: AFP/GETTY

Campbell told the Cheltenham Literature Festival the Tory leader was talented ”technically” at presenting his image, but lacked the policy substance of his former boss.

The political strategist turned novelist told an audience last night: ”Cameron likes to go around saying he’s Tony Blair’s natural successor. I think, without blowing my own trumpet, that he’s mine.

”If you take the environment, if I say to you ‘David Cameron, Environment’, I reckon a very, very large proportion of this audience would think of the picture when he went around with the huskies and the nice designer tracksuit.

”But if you were to say, ‘What’s he actually doing in relation to climate change?’ nobody’s got a clue.

”He uses his image for positioning. That’s part of the job. The stuff that Tony Blair was very, very good at was actually decision-making, strategy, and making political change happen.

”I don’t think Cameron is very good at that at all. I think what he’s done very, very well is persuade the media that he’s home and dry.”

Campbell said he had recently heard Nick Robinson, the BBC’s political editor, describe Mr Cameron as ”prime minister” and Tom Bradby, ITV’s political editor, call George Osborne ”chancellor”.

Neither of them were picked up on their slips, Campbell said.

Campbell added: ”He’s (Mr Cameron) perfectly good technically at presentation but he thinks that’s what its all about. It’s not.”

He also revealed details of his second novel. Campbell said: ”It’s about fame, celebrity, and friendship. It’s about a film star – a woman – and her relationship with someone she was at school with. He’s male.”

The pair never became boyfriend and girlfriend and the book tracks the changes to both of them and their families, he explained.

”I’m not a big fan of celebrity culture,” he added.

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