Listen to Alastair speak about his well documented time as Director of Communications and Strategy at a key point in British Political history. Hear his take on Power and Responsibility both from a government and corporate perspective, and how that impacts on mental health in the workplace.
Born in Yorkshire, Alastair graduated with a degree in Modern languages from Cambridge. In the 80s he trained as a journalist with the Mirror Group before moving to the Today newspaper as news editor. He later returned to the Mirror following a nervous breakdown, working his way up to become chief political columnist. In 1994 he was asked by Tony Blair to be his press secretary, playing a key role in creating New Labour and returning the Party to power.
After Labour’s landslide victory in 1997 he became Chief Press Secretary and Official Spokesman, co-ordinating the twice daily press briefings. Later, he became Director of Communications and Strategy until his resignation in 2003. He returned to the party six months prior to the 2005 general election and continued to advise the party informally under Gordon Brown, including during the 2010 campaign, in which he ‘played’ David Cameron in rehearsals for the historic TV debates.
In October 2008 Alastair broadcast an award-winning one hour documentary on BBC2 about his own breakdown in 1986. Both the film, Cracking Up, and All In The Mind, won considerable praise from mental health charities and campaign groups for helping to break down the taboo surrounding mental health. He received the Mind Champion of the Year award in May 2009 in recognition of his work to break down the stigma around mental illness, and continues to campaign on the issue.Register Now