Guido gatecrashed last night’s launch of Inside Out, Peter Watt’s tell-all book on the dysfunctional Labour Party. His co-writer Isabel Oakeshott (pictured) looked glamorous rather than ghostly.
Charles Clarke, one of the few people on the planet who dislikes the Prime Mentalist more than Guido, was the only Labour MP spotted at the event. Button-holing him was an opportunity to verify the truth of a story that has tickled Guido for a while. The scene was a champagne lubricated event hosted by Blair’s former SpAd turned power lobbyist, Darren Murphy, back in the spring of last year at the time Smeargate was unfolding. Murphy is of course no friend of Damian McBride. Alan Milburn, with Charles Clarke at his side, says a few words to the assembled über-Blairites. He finishes his speech with a smirk and raises his champagne-filled flute to say “the toast is Guido Fawkes”.
Clarke told Guido grumpily that he had no recollection of the event, so we’ll just have to put it down as apocryphal. Though too much champagne can play tricks with your memory…
UPDATE : Darren Murphy calls to say he didn’t host an event, or pay for the champagne and certainly wasn’t there. Another Labour source says that the gist of the story is true. Perhaps.