Thursday, 28 March 2013

Just what Ed Miliband doesn't need: Gordon Brown's ex-spin doctor to publish explosive memoir revealing New Labour's darkest secrets

- Damian McBride plans to releases his book on the eve of Ed Miliband's major party conference speech
- Will lift the lid on a decade spent at Gordon Brown's side
- Spin doctor was forced to quit in 2009 for a plot to smear Tory MPs

Ed Miliband’s hopes of presenting himself as a Prime Minister-in-waiting are set to be dashed by a devastating memoir lifting the lid on his role in the dying days of the last Labour government.

Former spin doctor Damian McBride will reveal the secrets of working for Gordon Brown for a decade, and Mr Miliband’s role as a key member of the former Prime Minister’s inner circle.

The explosive book, to be published on the eve of Mr Miliband’s keynote speech at the Labour conference in September, is expected to provide the most comprehensive account to date of Mr Brown’s rise and fall and his coterie of aides who dominate Labour today.

Mr McBride was forced to quit Downing Street in 2009 after it emerged he plotted to use a website to smear Tory MPs by spreading false rumours about their private lives.

But since then he has used a blog to reveal the inner workings of the Brown administration, which have become a must-read for journalists and MPs.

His memoir Power Trip: A Decade of Policy, Plots and Spin, will be published on September 23 - during the Labour Party's autumn conference - and will cover his 10 years working for Mr Brown, including the feud with Tony Blair at the top of New Labour.

Publishers BiteBack claim the book will ‘send shivers down the back of the Labour establishment as it reveals the truth about life within Gordon Brown’s government’.

Mr McBride has received a five-figure for the book which will chart his rise from civil service press officer in the Treasury in 2009 to Number 10’s top spin doctor in the early days of Mr Brown’s premiership.

He promises to reveal the ‘personal feuds, political plots, and media manipulation which lay at New Labour’s core’.

Just yesterday Mr McBride took a swipe at David Miliband, who announced he was quitting British politics two and a half years after losing the Labour leadership contest.

Mr McBride said Mr Miliband failure of nerve had stopped him from moving against Mr Brown before the last general election: 'His huge moment was 2008 but we monstered him because of his timidity.'

The memoir is likely to make for uncomfortable reading for Mr Miliband, who worked alongside Mr Brown and Mr McBride in the Treasury before becoming an MP but has sought to play down his links with the former PM.

Ed Balls, Labour’s shadow chancellor, was also a close ally of Mr McBride but sought to distance himself after the communications chief was forced to quit in 2009.

Mr McBride gave a flavour of life working for Mr Brown last year in a blog post on the former PM's infamous temper. He wrote: 'There are two phrases that every former Gordon Brown staffer got used to hearing when he couldn’t hide his exasperation with them any longer.

'The first – delivered slowly and usually punctuated with a pounding fist on the back of a chair – was “Too. Many. Mistakes.” The second – delivered in a strangled growl, usually at the person he wanted to murder on the spot – was: “I NEED NEW PEOPLE”.'

Iain Dale, the former Tory blogger who is now managing director of publishers Biteback, said: ‘I have absolute confidence in predicting Damian’s book will be seen as the political memoir of the year.

‘I’ve been chasing this book for at least eighteen months and am delighted to have persuaded Damian to put pen to paper.

‘Everyone knows from his blog that Damian is a brilliantly incisive writer and that he was in a unique position to expose what being at the centre of power in the Brown government was really like.’

After being cast out of the Labour fold, Mr McBride has used his blog to give a brutally honest account of the Brown regime’s failings.

Mr McBride said: ‘Given that Iain Dale was one of my supposed enemies when I was working in Downing Street, he was the last person I expected to be working with, but his thoughts on what this book should be about exactly matched my own, and I am delighted to be publishing it with him.

‘I hope that, like my blog, this book will be a chance not only to give my account of what happened during Gordon Brown's time in office, but also to give an insight into what life is like for those working in government today.’

Royalties will be split between the Catholic aid agency Cafod, where Mr McBride now works, and the appeal by his former employers Finchley Catholic High School to build a new sixth-form centre.

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