Alastair Campbell on gamble-gate: People are thinking 'I can't quite believe this is happening'

Alastair Campbell on gamble-gate: People are thinking 'I can't quite believe this is happening'
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 26/06/2024

- 11:00

Alastair Campbell has said that the public are incredulous at the General Election betting scandal and it may put people off voting on the day.

Sir Tony Blair’s former Head of Communications also told GB News there has been a lack of scrutiny of politicians during the campaign.

He said: “What you get with the press conference, what you get with that real sort of intense grilling, where you keep coming back the same question again and again, you get to a place where the public can make a judgement.

“Are they sort of telling me the truth or are they not? Whereas I think what you have now - politicians are very, very skilled at kind of batting stuff off.

“The other thing that's happened with this campaign in particular, is that the stuff that like Sunak launching at the way that he did, in the rain with Things Can Only Get Better playing beautifully in the background…

“Then you had the D-Day thing which was just terrible and now this betting thing, which I think a lot of people are just thinking, ‘I can't quite believe this is happening’.

“But my big worry about this election is that people think it's all over and they won't have to vote. The only way to get a change of government is to vote for a change in government and people have got to get out and vote.”

He added: “I worry about the extent of normalisation of lying in politics, I think it is a real problem. I think media bias is a real problem…

“And even in this campaign you've seen an example of it where Sunak, who promised professionalism, integrity, accountability, keeps doubling down on the £2,000 [tax claim] and then on this betting thing, he just cannot see that the public just think this is wrong.”

On Labour’s manifesto pledges, he said: “They're putting a lot of their eggs in the growth basket…if you don't get the growth, then Labour have got problems.”

He was asked what it will be like for Keir Starmer and his family living in Downing Street if the party wins the election.

Campbell said: “It's very, very hard and I actually really admire Keir and his wife Vic, they have made a decision. Nobody's going to know who their kids are. That's going to be hard and the newspapers, they should respect that.

“It is not a great place to live. It really isn't a great place to live. Your friends can't just come and go. I don't think he's got a choice, because if he becomes Prime Minister, I don't believe that the security people would allow him not to live there.

“When Tony Blair became Prime Minister, I think his kids and Cherie would have preferred to have stayed in Islington, the police said that the cost and the inconvenience to other people of now securing this place is going to be too high. And so they had to move into Downing Street.”

Asked about the Labour leader’s support for the campaign for a second Brexit referendum, he said: “Well, I think I was more of an architect, because it took a long time to persuade him to back it.”


Latest Politics videos

Don't Miss

Best of Politics

Latest videos

More videos