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CAMPBELL PAID£10,000 TO LECTURE COUNCIL PROs

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Alastair Campbell is being paid£10,000 of taxpayers' money to lecture council officers on the art of spin, accordi...
Alastair Campbell is being paid£10,000 of taxpayers' money to lecture council officers on the art of spin, according to The Mail on Sunday (p11).

Tony Blair's former director of communications will be paid£2,500 an hour for his self-styled 'communications masterclass' next month. Senior Conservative MPs attacked the seminar as a misuse of public money and demanded that councils stop staff attending the event.

Mr Campbell will address 40 members of LGcommunications, which represents council press officers and which is funded via council taxpayers. He will focus on a number of issues at the£250-a-head course, including a section called 'How to handle a cynical and disinterested media'. During the four-hour session he will also highlight how staff can 'build and retain support from politicians and senior staff'. He will also discuss the importance of 'managing reputations'.

The invitation for the event on 31 March at the five-star Belfry Hotel in Solihull says Mr Campbell 'will share his experience and offer coaching in some key skills for senior communications staff. The masterclass will include group workshops, with some real-life crisis case studies for delegates to wrestle with and debate with Alastair in open session'.

Conservative local government spokesman Eric Pickles said: 'This is a misuse of public funds at a time when local authorities are short of money. To see this happening undermines a lot of what local authorities have been saying'.
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