In an interview on 18 Doughty Street's One to One programme last night, Lance Price, former Downing Street spin doctor, has sensationally claimed that Tony Blair himself was the source of quotes describing Gordon Brown as having “psychological flaws”.
Price continues to say he was told by a figure very close to the Chancellor that Alastair Campbell “took the rap” to allow the Prime Minister to escape blame. Below is a transcript of the passage in question...
Iain Dale: ...This kind of behaviour from the Chancellor - is that why Alastair Campbell talked about psychological flaws, or we assume it was Alastair Campbell that said that…
Lance Price: I don’t know that it was Alastair Campbell
Iain Dale: Yes you do, yes you do
Lance Price: Well no, I don’t know, I don’t know for a fact it was Alastair Campbell. I’ll tell you what somebody…somebody very close to the Chancellor who was having this discussion, many people had this discussion obviously, said to me; “By the way everyone says it was Alastair, it wasn’t Alastair”. He said it was Tony Blair. It was Tony Blair who said it. It was completely unacceptable for the news to be out there that this was what the Prime Minister said about the Chancellor so therefore Alastair took the rap and Alastair’s been the lightning conductor ever since. Now I have no idea whether that’s true but people very close to the Chancellor believe its true and maybe even the Chancellor himself believes it was true and if you look in Andrew Rawnsley’s book where the quote first appeared, he said, I think he described it as somebody with a better claim than anyone else to know the Prime Minister’s mind. Well, the only person with a better claim to know the Prime Minister’s mind than Alistair Campbell is, possibly Cherie, is the Prime Minister himself.
Iain Dale: Another thing is that Andrew Rawnsley has said that once Tony Blair ceases to be Prime Minister, he will reveal all. That would add fuel to the fire.
Lance Price: Maybe Iain you heard it here first.
You can see the clip HERE. The full programme is HERE.