The Daily Mail paid £130,000 for serialisation rights to former Labour spin doctor Damian McBride’s memoirs, according to reports this weekend.
The Guardian claimed that the Mail outbid six Fleet Street rivals for the rights to McBride’s book, Power Trip, which details his time as Gordon Brown’s press adviser.
McBride has revealed how he used leaks to the media and “fabricated” stories to help Brown both before and after the former Chancellor became Prime Minister in 2007.
The most startling revelations show how McBride used newspapers to spread rumours about Labour ministers who could have been potential rivals to Brown as successor to Tony Blair.
According to The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday was the second highest bidder for the memoir, although the figure was less than £100,000. The paper claims The Sun and The Daily Telegraph both offered around £50,000, while The Guardian bid less than £10,000.
Writing for The Drum website, former Labour adviser and Observer news editor Chris Boffey said that McBride’s decision to go to the Mail will have riled former party colleagues, including Alastair Campbell.
Boffey, who said McBride was known to the political press corps as “McNasty” or “McPoison”, wrote: “He (Campbell) cannot understand how any Labour Party member can sell out to the Daily Mail and to do it just before the party conference to cause maximum damage to the party and the two Eds, Miliband and Balls, who were colleagues of McBride’s at the treasury.
“However, the reasoning is quite simple. McNasty has a living to make, a book to promote and the Mail pay substantially more than 30 pieces of silver.”