Alastair Campbell launches final Downing St Diary tonight at Mile End

Ex-Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell is launching the fourth and final volume of his ‘Diaries of the Blair Years’ in a public conversation tonight in east London in front of an audience.

He is in conversation with Blair’s biographer John Rentoul at the University of London’s Queen Mary College.

They are talking about ‘The Burden of Power—Countdown to Iraq’, which covers the most turbulent period of Campbell’s time as head of Downing Street’s communications from 2001 to 2003.

Campbell played a key role helping Labour return to power in 1997 after 18 years in Opposition during the Thatcher-Major years.

Tonight’s talk at 6.30pm is being staged at the university’s Mile End Group, set up 10 years ago for Queen Mary’s postgraduates of contemporary political history.

The group has evolved into a seminar series attracting top speakers with inside knowledge of government and Whitehall. Previous speakers have included Ed Balls, Denis Healey, John Major, Michael Heseltine and Peter Mandelson, as well as former top civil servants like Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell and MI5 director Eliza Manningham-Buller.