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Last Updated: Monday, 6 September, 2004, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Campbell considers future as MP
Alastair Campbell
Alastair Campbell has completed a stint as a television interviewer
Ex-Downing Street communications director Alastair Campbell has revealed for the first time he has considered a return to politics as an MP.

The former spin doctor told the Radio Times he did not "rule out" seeking a parliamentary seat and praised the positive work of politicians.

He resigned as Tony Blair's media chief in August 2003.

He has since conducted a nationwide roadshow tour with his show, An Audience with Alastair Campbell.

Mr Campbell has also conducted a series of television interviews with leading figures, including former US President Bill Clinton.

Politicians make a real and lasting change - I have to put myself under pressure somehow
Alastair Campbell

In an interview for the next edition of the Radio Times, he said: "Some days I wonder if I'll ever do anything meaningful and worthwhile again.

"The answer is almost certainly yes, but I don't know what."

He went on to hint at his political aspirations.

Asked if he would stand for Parliament, he replied: "I don't rule it out because it's an enormous privilege.

"When all is said and done, politicians make a real and lasting change.

"I have to put myself under pressure somehow."

Mr Campbell dismissed claims by former BBC director-general Greg Dyke that he had been forced out of his Downing Street job.

He described the allegations as "balls".

Nervous breakdown

"I gave up my job because I had to deal with so much crap. Life's too short", said the former Fleet Street journalist.

Mr Campbell suffered a well-documented nervous breakdown several years ago.

He revealed that the day before being questioned at the Hutton Inquiry into the death of government weapons expert Dr David Kelly he had tried to put things into focus by remembering that period in his life.

"Occasionally, like the day before I gave evidence to the Hutton inquiry, I'd find a quiet room and force myself to recall what it was like to go mad," he said.

"I realised, 'Whatever happens tomorrow, if I make an arse of myself in the witness stand, it won't be as bad as that'."




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