Alastair Campbell on Balls’s “drivel”

New diary extracts reveal just how much the Labour spin doctor loathed Brown’s right-hand man.

We've always known that Alastair Campbell doesn't have a great deal of time for Ed Balls. But it's still gratifying to have this finally confirmed.

Here are a few choice extracts from his unexpurgated diaries:

26 April 1995: Ed Balls "drivelled on endlessly". Blair said afterwards that he "only wanted grown-ups to attend his meetings".

16 July 1996: Balls was "full of bile" about Blair.

6 November 1996: "Ed Balls spoke drivel, a never-ending collection of words that just ran into each other and became devoid of meaning."

Clearly Campbell, like the rest of us, never really took to "post-neoclassical endogenous growth theory".

Hat-tip: John Rentoul.

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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