Campbell to reply to Dacre criticism

MPs are to provide Alastair Campbell with a unique Parliamentary platform next month to counter criticism levelled at him by Paul Dacre.

When he appeared before the Commons Public Administration Committee on 25 March, the Daily Mail editor said relations with the media had been poisoned by Campbell during his tenure as Tony Blair’s communications chief. The crossparty committee has now invited Campbell to answer the criticisms and express his views about his former colleagues in the Parliamentary Lobby.

Although the subject under discussion will be the independent review of government communications headed by Bob Phillis, chief executive of the Guardian Media Group, Campbell is expected to hit back at Dacre.

Dacre told MPs the usual hostile relationship between government and press had been put on “a different footing” when Campbell had been in charge of the No 10 media operation.

“After a while the media industry came to believe it was disseminating untruths and misrepresenting the truth as a matter of course,” he said.

Campbell will also be quizzed on Downing Street’s plan to replace offcamera briefings for political journalists with more televised briefings.

A spokesman for the committee said 11 May had been provisionally booked for Campbell to give evidence.

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