Party leaders make TV appeal

Cafod’s PR department last week succeeded in getting the leaders of all three political parties to record messa­ges of support for the Darfur appeal – within two days.

Video clips from all three political leaders were posted on YouTube as part of the appeal. The task was assigned to Cafod by the Disasters Emergency Committee at 2pm on Wednesday. Four hours later, Tony Blair was recording his speech at Number 10.

Cafod head of media Fiona Callister said: ‘We initially thought the videos would be recorded on Thursday, but it was good that Tony Blair was able to do it earlier. When the others realised Blair had ­already agreed, they wanted to get on board.’

Cafod made contact with Blair though his special adviser on international development Justin Forsyth. Shadow international development secretary Andrew Mitchell provided access to Conservative leader David Cameron, while Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell was reached via his special adviser Carrie Henderson. Christian Aid provided the camera crew.

Under the DEC umbrella, 13 charities are making an emergency appeal to save lives in Darfur, Chad and the Central African Republic before the rainy season limits access and increases the risk of disease.

Other DEC members include ActionAid, British Red Cross, Help the Aged, ­Islamic Relief, and Save the Children.

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