How is The Sunday Telegraph different from the competition?
In my eyes it’s more of a serious read in many ways. We won’t run a story unless we are convinced it is accurate and newsworthy. Some papers will go nuts on a line they’ve been fed that is really self-serving but that just weakens the credibility of the title.
How does political coverage differ on a Sunday?
Sundays are different because you develop and nurture stories through the week and try to hang on to them.
Where do stories come from?
Spin doctors play a massive role in what we do and they are usually our first point of contact. You have to be on guard to avoid being used and sold a line that is unacceptable. They are trying all the time and I’ll try to tell them as early as possible that what they’re saying is bollocks.
Who is the best at spin?
Spin is more of a necessity for the opposition because it is often the only way of getting its message out. Labour was particularly good when in opposition. We also find think tanks often run slick operations. I have a bit to do with lobbyists but we’re more interested in the hard face of politics and they tend to be of more use to specialist correspondents.
How much has Alastair Campbell’s departure affected your dealings with Number 10?
It’s no secret that most people think he should have gone earlier. I think there has been a change of pace at Number 10 but not as much as you would expect. David Hill has done a good job and they run a pretty slick ship now.
How should PROs get in touch?
Hopefully most people already know me. They should ring me up any time so we can have a chat or a drink.