Diary: Allan not far from the political fray

Tim Allan might have turned his back on the top Downing Street comms job back in May, but the former Alastair Campbell protege has nonetheless been fighting the New Labour cause in blistering fashion.

In case you missed it, the Portland PR owner got hold of a video of John Humphrys' speech at the Communications Directors' Forum in June and leaked it to The Times last Saturday. The video showed the veteran broadcaster asserting the BBC's role was to 'take on' the Government. Humphrys even suggested ministers were prone to being economical with the actualite.

Allan tells Diary he spotted bits of Humphrys' talk in event organiser Richmond Events' newsletter and relayed them in a speech he made at the Edinburgh conference. Challenged to substantiate the comments, he wheedled the only tape from Richmond Events.

An 'extremely annoyed' Richmond CEO Mark Rayner says there was a 'verbal undertaking' with Allan that it was being despatched in 'strictest confidence'.

Allan denies any such agreement - after all it was a speech made to a throng of PROs - adding: 'I make no apology for putting this in the public domain. (Humphrys) uses his licence-fee-created celebrity to say ministers are liars.'

The (Number 10) door is always open, Tim...

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