click on the photograph of the Speaker for the bio.
Writer. Communicator. Former British Prime Minister's Spokesman
Alastair Campbell is a writer, communicator and strategist best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy. Still active in politics in Britain and overseas, he now splits his time between writing, speaking, charitable fundraising, consultancy and campaigns.
He has written eleven books in the past seven years, including six volumes of diaries, three novels, and a personal memoir on depression and the pursuit of happiness. His latest book, WINNERS AND HOW THEY SUCCEED, looks at winners in sport, business and politics and tries to draw general lessons from them. It was an instant No. 1 bestseller in the UK. A former ‘Mind Champion of the Year’, he is an ambassador for the Time to Change campaign to raise awareness about mental illness, and chairman of fundraising for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. He continues to advise the Labour Party, and other left of centre parties, most recently acting as strategic director for the Albanian Socialist Party, who won a landslide victory in June 2013. He is Humanitas Visting Professor on media at Cambridge University, and was also recently honoured by University College Dublin for his contribution to the Northern Ireland Peace Process. He is on the advisory board of Portland PR, and in addition independently acts as an advisor to governments, businesses, charities, sports organisations and high profile individuals.
In July 2007, he published his first book on his time with Tony Blair, The Blair Years, extracts from his diaries from 1994 to 2003, which was an instant Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller. He has since published four volumes of the full diaries, and a special edition of the diaries focused on the Northern Ireland peace process, ‘The Irish Diaries’. He has continued to keep a diary and is expected to publish his post Downing Street diaries in the future. His first novel, All In The Mind, appeared in November 2008, to enthusiastic reviews for its frank examination of mental illness. His second novel Maya, a gripping analysis of fame and the obsession it attracts, was published in February 2010. His third novel, published in September 2013, is called My Name Is, and tells the story of a young girl’s descent into alcoholism. He has since become an ambassador for Alcohol Concern.
In October 2008 Alastair broadcast an award-winning one hour documentary on BBC2 about his own breakdown in 1986. Both the film, Cracking Up, and All In The Mind, won considerable praise from mental health charities and campaign groups for helping to break down the taboo surrounding mental health. He received the Mind Champion of the Year award in May 2009 in recognition of his work to break down the stigma around mental illness, and continues to campaign on the issue both in Britain and overseas. He has also made a BBC documentary about alcoholism.
In his time in Downing Street he was involved in all the major policy issues and international crises. He has said that in ten years in the media, and a decade in politics, he saw his respect for the media fall and his respect for politics rise. He was called to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards twice, first for his insights into modern journalism, second to give his views on the changed relationship between politics and media. He is a sought after speaker at events around the world, specialising in strategic communications, leadership, team building and crisis management.