McBride is a man of parts. When I dealt with him professionally, I was always impressed by how quickly and succinctly he replied to queries. And yet, though I do not normally consider it my business to intervene in the political process, I did attempt two years ago to convey a message to Gordon Brown, through one of his trustees, that it would be unwise to move McBride from the Treasury to the highly exposed position of official spokesman for the Prime Minister.McSmith wasn't the only one to express discomfort at McBride's activities.
Even then, he had too much of a reputation for enjoying drinking late into the night with journalists. People in these exposed positions can drink with journalists if they must, but should never, ever, enjoy it. Gathering and passing on political intelligence is a duty that people around the Prime Minister have to perform. It is not a game to be played for fun.McBride, who is only 34, was too obviously hooked on the game.
Lord (Dale) Campbell-Savours has been running a one man campaign against McBride ever since he tried to bully Sky News over their coverage of the 2006 Pre Budget report and smeared two Labour MPs. He tabled several questions, both oral and written, in the House of Lords in early 2007 (the Hansard website isn't working for me so I can't locate them). They allege that McBride broke the civil service code by his actions. But Gordon Brown took no action against his licensed pitbull.
By ye actions, shall ye be judged.