There's no doubt, Baldwin is a very talented writer and has been a very good story getter. But as I wrote back in February 2006...
... he was considered to be Alastair Campbell's chief missionary on earth. If he wrote a story you could be sure that Big Al had tipped him the wink. He also had another mission. To do down the Conservative Party at every opportunity. Hardly a week would go by where he didn't find, or would be given, some little snippet of information which he would sensationalise beyond all recognition... Baldwin was one political journalist I tried to make sure I avoided.
When you're the Director of Communications for the main opposition party, your key asset has to be that you're believable - that you really are "your master's voice". It will be interesting to see how he moves from poacher to gamekeeper.
UPDATE: Tim Montgomerie has had the same experience of Mr Baldwin as me.
UPDATE: How odd. Guido is now reporting the job has gone to the Mirror's Bob Roberts. No, not THAT one. UPDATE: This is a separate job.
UPDATE: The Daily Mail has got in on the act.
UPDATE: David Seymour is equally unimpressed.