WATCH: CCTV captures Blair spin doctor Alastair Campbell in Hampstead altercation
11:16 15 January 2015
Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, has rejected claims he assaulted a man during an altercation in a Hampstead street, insisting he was verbally abused and spat at in an unprovoked attack.
CCTV footage obtained by the Ham&High shows an altercation involving Mr Campbell and a 61-year-old Hampstead resident on Monday last week.
The incident came to light after the man contacted Bradford West MP George Galloway who then announced to his 230,000 followers on Twitter that he was investigating.
The footage in Perrin’s Lane at just after 1.15pm shows Mr Campbell in running gear walking towards Hampstead High Street when he is confronted.
As the pair meet, Gospel Oak resident Mr Campbell appears to land a glancing blow on the man’s shoulder.
The 61-year-old then follows Mr Campbell and the altercation continues out of sight of the camera. The man then walks off down Perrin’s Lane towards Heath Street.
Mr Campbell told the Ham&High he did not respond to the man’s initial insults and put his “arm out to his shoulder to stop him coming any closer” as they met.
He said the man then kicked him in the leg and spat, resulting in “most of the spit landing on my shirt, some on my face”.
He added: “Though I am used to robust debate, this is the first time I have been attacked in a public place and the first time I have been spat at.
“We have lived in Gospel Oak, happily and as active members of the local community, for decades and it has always felt safe and friendly.”
The man, who does not wish to be named, said: “I was walking up Perrin’s Lane and I saw Campbell coming towards me and I made a remark. As he came past me, I said, ‘The biggest piece of **** I’ve ever seen in this street.’
“He then struck out and hit me on my left shoulder. I turned to confront him and said, ‘That is assault, you should be in prison, not running around the streets of London.’
“At which point spitting ensued and then I aimed a blow with my foot that did not connect. Nothing that I did was illegal and he had no right to punch me.”
Mr Campbell insists he was both spat at and kicked as well as being insulted. He denies he spat at the man.
Both men say CCTV footage captured by a Camden Council camera outside Barclays bank in Hampstead High Street will vindicate their account of the altercation.
The Ham&High has requested this footage from the council.
See the CCTV footage of the incident obtained by the Ham&High above.