PM hunts for 'attack dog'

Gordon Brown is looking to hire 'a politically motivated attack dog' as his chief of strategy Stephen Carter prepares to take on a less high profile role.

Sidelined? 'Frustrated' Carter
Sidelined? 'Frustrated' Carter

Labour Party sources said that a number of MPs were clamouring for the return of former Downing Street comms director Alastair Campbell.

Many cited the ‘baffling’ interview that Chancellor Alistair Darling gave to The Guardian this weekend. One insider said: ‘Gordon needs someone with the confidence and authority to impose a bit of discipline.’

Others have suggested that The Mirror’s associate editor Kevin Maguire would be ideal. It is not known whether either man has approached.

PRWeek understands Carter, former CEO of Brunswick, was close to resignation last week following a series of talks with Brown. Insiders said Carter had become increasingly frustrated by colleagues and Labour MPs briefing against him. ‘He’s been spitting bile to friends for a couple of months,’ said one source.

The PM is said to have asked Carter to stay on in a less high profile role. Downing Street sources played down the news, with one senior figure insisting: ‘He’s going nowhere.’

The Downing Street PR machine will now focus on stressing Brown’s ability to deliver in tough economic times.

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