DIARY: 'Senior Labour source' repositions spin role

Political spin doctors are only too happy to stab each other in the

back and claim credit for one another's hard work.

But this week marks the start of a subtle repositioning campaign by

Weber Shandwick Worldwide public affairs CEO Colin Byrne. The former

Labour press chief has made the odd choice of playing down his role in

an electoral PR coup.

A Labour-backing letter to The Times last Monday, signed by 58 business

leaders - including former Tories such as Alan Sugar - was set up by

Labour's business relations unit. Flagged up by the BBC and The Observer

over the weekend for maximum impact, the letter epitomised New Labour


Yet Byrne was curiously coy when asked about his role. 'It was all Roger

Sharp's doing,' he said, assigning the credit for days of good publicity

to the former Britain in Europe lobbyist and GJW consultant.

'Roger got the letter together and the Labour press office placed it in

The Times,' Byrne said. 'My role was limited to commenting on its

contents at an early stage.' Modesty from a 'senior Labour source'?

Wonders will never cease.

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