Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Campbell, Alastair John
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

British journalist and Labour Party media strategist. He was appointed to Tony Blair's staff when Blair became leader of the Labour Party in 1994 and he helped to co-ordinate the party's 1997 general election campaign. After the election victory, he was appointed chief press secretary to the prime minister where he played a major role in promoting New Labour's policies. As a key advisor, he served as director of communications and strategy after Labour's re-election in 2001 until his resignation in 2003.

Once in Downing Street after Labour's election success, he conducted the daily briefings of political journalists and established a formidable communications operation to convey the government's views. After the 2001 election he concentrated on longer-term strategy until his resignation shortly after appearing before the Hutton inquiry in August 2003, which cleared him of allegations that he helped to inflate the government's case for the attack on Iraq. He subsequently remained in the public eye with television appearances and speaking engagements (including his one-man show, An Audience with Alastair Campbell).

Campbell was born in Keighley, and studied modern languages at Cambridge University before starting his career as a provincial journalist. After moving to London, he was briefly the news editor of Sunday Today before joining the Sunday Mirror as political correspondent in 1986 and then political editor in 1987. He was political editor for the Daily Mirror 1989–1993, and then for Today until he joined Labour's opposition office in 1994.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles


Full text Article Blair Babes
Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase and Fable

Originally a derisory term for the women Labour MPs supposedly cosseted by Tony Blair and devoted to him as fawning loyalists after Labour's...

Full text Article Cool Britannia
Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase and Fable

A vogue phrase, punning on the patriotic song 'Rule, Britannia', for the revitalized Britain that many saw emerging in 1997 on the election of...

Full text Article Blairism
Dictionary of Eponyms

Blairism is the term used to describe the movement of the Labour Party away from its traditional socialist roots and towards the political...

See more from Credo