Campbell at loggerheads with BBC for grilling over Iraq Inquiry
Alastair Campbell was embroiled in another row with the BBC last night after breaking down on television as he answered questions about the Iraq war.
Tony Blair's former Downing Street communications director accused the BBC presenter Andrew Marr of pursuing an "agenda" when he pressed him over whether the former Prime Minister misled Parliament over Iraq's weapons before the 2003 invasion.
Mr Campbell, who was assured and unrepentant during a five-hour grilling by the Iraq Inquiry last month, became emotional during his appearance on The Andrew Marr Show and appeared to struggle for breath as he did not speak for several seconds. "Forgive me for this, I've..." he said. "I've been through a lot of this, Andrew. And I've been through a lot of that inquiry... and, er... Tony Blair, I think is a totally honourable man."
He went on the programme to promote his new novel, Maya, but admitted later that Marr had upset him by referring to it as his "new work of fiction" – which he took as a barbed reference to the controversial dossier on Saddam Hussein's weapons published in September 2002. The claim by a BBC reporter that the dossier had been "sexed up" eventually led to the Hutton Inquiry and the resignations of BBC chiefs Gavyn Davies and Greg Dyke.
Later Mr Campbell told Sky News: "I did get quite upset with Andrew [Marr] this morning. I feel sometimes we are treated in this media bubble... like somehow you are devoid of humanity – you don't really have feelings, you don't really care about things.
"I know how much I care about it, I know how much Tony Blair cares about it."
Writing on his blog, he said Marr, the BBC's political editor at the time of the Iraq war, was "no longer interested in the truth".
"[I] let my mind race for a while, controlled the emotions surging around, then carried on," rather than make remarks about the media that he might have regretted, Mr Campbell wrote.
William Hague, the shadow Foreign Secretary, who was interviewed on The Andrew Marr Show immediately after Mr Campbell, said: "We are all upset by what happened in Iraq. I am very upset that it seems our soldiers were often sent into action without the necessary equipment because of poor political decision-making, that there was no plan for the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq."
Gordon Brown fought back tears as he spoke about the death of his daughter Jennifer Jane in a television interview with Piers Morgan to be shown on ITV next Sunday. He also referred to the possibility that his three-year-old son Fraser, who has cystic fibrosis, may have a poor life expectancy.
- 1 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 2 David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper's £29m move to Real Madrid off - because paperwork 'not done in time'
- 3 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 4 A Chinese journalist has appeared on state television 'confessing' to causing the stock market chaos
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
The man who sold Minecraft to Microsoft for £2.5 billion says it's made him miserable
Nazi 'gold train': Fire engulfs suspected location of vehicle in Poland
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Isis releases graphic video showing four Shia 'spies' being burned alive in Anbar, Iraq
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company has a fantastic opportunity for a...
£60000 - £150000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you looking to take your ...
£20000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Exciting career prospect for ...