What Blair thought of controversial soundbite

11th February 2005 at 00:00
Tony Blair clashed with his spin doctor Alastair Campbell over the Prime Minister's eagerness to criticise comprehensives.

Peter Hyman reveals in his book, 1 Out Of 10: From Downing Street Vision to Classroom Reality, how he sat in the Prime Minister's office with Mr Campbell "going up the wall".

"You've got to understand not everyone wants all this choice," Mr Campbell told the Prime Minister. "Most people want a decent local school - and what is more they think comprehensives, by and large, have worked. What is the point of condemning all comprehensives?"

Mr Hyman admits that he created the soundbite "bog-standard comprehensive", which Mr Campbell was later attacked for using.

"In public, Tony condemned the phrase as being a bit over the top, and would not use it himself," he said. "In private, he thought it gave us some definition."

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