MI6: Campbell was an ‘unguided missile’

By Phil Scullion

MI6 viewed Alastair Campbell as an "unguided missile" during intelligence discussions which took place prior to the Iraq war.

Labour's former director of communications at No. 10 was prone to "rushes of blood to the head" a senior Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) witness told the Chilcot inquiry.

The spy described "concerns" over Campbell and accused him of failing to consult properly with the service before passing stories to the media.

He said: "We found Alastair Campbell, I think, an enthusiastic individual, but also somewhat of an unguided missile.

"From the outset we had concerns… That was an issue that was raised periodically.

"We also, I think, suffered from his propensity to have rushes of blood to the head and pass various stories and information to journalists without appropriate prior consultation."

These fresh criticisms of the former spin doctor are the strongest to have been aired at the inquiry so far.

Sir Lawrence Freedman, who sits on the inquiry's panel, had asked the spy to outline the relationship between SIS and Number 10.

It is expected that the role played by Mr Campbell, particularly with regard to the compilation of the intelligence dossier which formed part of former prime minister Tony Blair's case for war in Iraq, will be a major focus in the inquiry's report to be published later this year.

The spy added that Mr Campbell had "undertook to do better" after the intelligence dossier was hit by heavy criticism for misleading the public and MPs.

This evidence was presented to the inquiry last year; however the transcript has only just been declassified and released.