Michael White knew how to cope with Tim Allan, once Alastair Campbell’s deputy, and the man who leaked the tape of the Humphrys speech to the Times. Mr Allan had come into our office at Westminster to moan about the Guardian’s insufficiently reverential attitude to Tony Blair once too often. “You can fuck off,” said Mike, thoughtfully. Mr Allen looked hurt. “I didn’t realise you were going to take it so seriously,” he said.
“I am not taking it seriously,” said Mike. “If I were taking it seriously you would have been through that window 10 minutes ago. Now fuck off!” It worked, too, in that he did.