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'Don't put words in my mouth!' Alastair Campbell shut down in tense Vine exchange


Alastair Campbell appeared on the Jeremy Vine Show on Channel 5 to comment on the James Dyson and Greensill lobbying scandals, insisting the Government should make known any vested interests between politicians and private companies. Columnist Angela Epstein disagreed with the former advisor when she shook her head but Mr Campbell began talking over her. Ms Epstein then delivered a brutal dig at Mr Campbell as she went on to defend James Dyson and the procurement of ventilators. 

Speaking on the show, Mr Campbell said: “The point is when it impinges upon policy, tax policy, and anything that relates to somebody who might benefit in a business or might lead to a policy change where there is a vested interest. 

“It is incumbent upon the minister, in this case, the Prime Minister, to make sure that is known by the Government machine so policy can be formulated and developed in a proper way.”

But host Vine invited Ms Epstein to weigh in on the conversation after she was seen shaking her head. 

Mr Campbell interrupted and said: “She’s shaking her head because she thinks that once you’re into this pandemic anything goes.

“Once you’ve decided that anything goes that is what leads to the breakdown in standards.”

Mr Campbell was then cut off as Ms Epstein replied: “Alastair, you may have made a career out of putting words in other people’s mouths but please don’t put them into mine.”

The Dyson lobbying scandal has divided opinions on what the relationship between private business and government should be. 

Leaked texts revealed entrepreneur James Dyson asking if the Prime Minister could provide tax breaks for his workers in exchange for ventilators being produced in his factories. 

But both politicians and the public have called for a tightening up of the rules and call for more transparency between MPs and businesses. 

Business Secretary Kwarti Kwarteng appeared on Sky News and said conversations between ministers and private business happens all the time as both sides seek to come to mutually beneficial arrangements. 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer slammed Boris Johnson during Prime Minister’s Questions stating not everyone who was struggling during the pandemic had direct access to politicians to help them. 

Sir Keir added NHS nurses and failing businesses did not have the luxury of calling the PM to sort out their issues. 

Mr Johnson has defended his conduct stating he tried to move “heaven and earth” to secure PPE contracts. 


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