Former Press Secretary & Political Speaker
Alastair Campbell is best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, and is a speaker on politics and communication as well as being a mental health speaker. Alastair was the press secretary and director of communications and strategy for Tony Blair. Still active in politics and campaigns in Britain and overseas, he splits his time between speaking and writing, whilst also working with charities and consulting.
He has written 4 novels, eight volumes of his diaries and Winners and How They Succeed, a Number 1 best-selling analysis of what it takes to win in politics, business, and sport. He has also written a personal memoir on depression having suffered from a nervous breakdown in 1986.
Alastair started his career as a journalist and joined in the Mirror in the early 1980s before moving to work for Today newspaper as news editor. However, it was here that he had a
nervous breakdown and left to return to the Mirror after convalescence.
On his return, he rose to become political editor and the paper’s chief political columnist, and after a short spell back at Today, he became press secretary when Tony Blair became the leader of the Labour Party, and helped coin the phrase “New Labour”
He was part of the Labour Party’s team that won the 1997 election and helped Tony Blair win a second election when he became Director of Communications and Strategy. He resigned in 2003 but returned for the subsequent three general elections to help first Tony Blair then Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. He also advised the Better Together campaign against independence for Scotland, and the Remain side in the EU referendum campaign.
He has been portrayed in films and TV, most notably perhaps The Queen, and is often thought to be the main inspiration for Armando Iannucci’s satirical creation, Number 10 spin doctor Malcolm Tucker. In October 2008 he made an award-winning one hour documentary on BBC2 about his own nervous breakdown in 1986.
He is an avid charity supported and is chairman of Bloodwise, involved with a number of mental health charities. He co-founded the all-party campaign, Equality4MentalHealth, which was credited in Parliament by then Chancellor George Osborne with securing an extra £600million for mental health services.
His main interests outside of work are running, cycling, bagpipes and following Burnley FC.
He writes a monthly interview for GQ magazine and has covered figures as varied as Prince William and Jose Mourinho, Al Gore and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Nicola Sturgeon, and Nicola Adams.
Drawing on his experience of ten years working with Tony Blair, Alastair speaks on subjects such as
• Making Change,
• Dealing with the media
• Crisis management
• Current Politics
"Controversial, thought-provoking and highly entertaining, Alastair gave a refreshingly candid insight into past and present political leaders and events that captivated our guests.”
— Ernst & Young
“This forthright journalist, broadcaster and author has provided my clients with fascinating, entertaining and memorable insights into the world of politics and journalism at the very highest level.”
— Paul Smith, Managing Director, Paul Smith Associates
“He set out to carefully tailor his insights to a largely creative audience, and his anecdotes were told with the ease of a master storyteller.”
— Charlie Mawer, Exec Creative Director, Red Bee Media