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Campbell aids Brown on inheritance tax

Former spin doctor sharpens Labour's attack on the Tories

We've known for some time that Alastair Campbell is informally advising Gordon Brown on political strategy and Andrew Rawnsley's Observer column today reveals one of his key contributions.

During the Queen's Speech debate, Brown delivered this unusually sharp attack on the Tories' reactionary plan to cut inheritance tax:

That must be the only tax change in history where the people proposing it -- the leader of the opposition and the shadow chancellor -- will know by name almost all of the potential beneficiaries.

Rawnsley reveals:

Some people have been wondering whether the Prime Minister has found himself a new jokesmith and who this person might be. I can solve that small mystery. It is Alastair Campbell. He is popping in to No 10 about once a week to help the Prime Minister.

It's remarkable that it's taken this long for Labour to hammer the Tories over inheritance tax. Campbell's political nous was clearly badly needed.

I only wonder: with Campbell back on the scene and Brown's union fixer Charlie Whelan still a forceful presence, will the next generation of spinners ever get a look-in?