Diary: Labour leader's odd taste in spinners

Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander attracts colourful PR support like PRWeek attracts attention from national newspapers.

Last year she contended with chief press aide Matthew Marr after he allegedly called First Minister Alex Salmond the nasty c-word. Marr then engaged in a lengthy rant about the 'fucking middle classes', before resigning.

Having also graced national headlines in a donation scandal, for which she was later cleared, Alexander has now decided to entertain the advice of a spinner who was once caught in a lover's clinch with a prostitute.

Philip Chalmers plunged Donald Dewar's administration into scandal in 2000 and had to resign. Nevertheless, he can write a bit and was consulted over the script for Scottish Labour's latest party political broadcast.

'He's not an adviser; he's never been paid. Wendy knows him and he was one of many people who were shown the script. He never worked for her and has no plans to,' spluttered Simon Pia, media spokesman for the Labour leader in the Scottish Parliament. Diary wonders if he doth protest a little too much.

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