Politicians were stunned today when Alistair Campbell announced that he is standing for election – for the Conservatives.
But the candidate is not the former Labour spin doctor Alastair – but Alistair Campbell, a business consultant from Paisley in Scotland.
He is contesting the seat of Paisley and Renfrewshire North for the Tories in the Scottish elections on May 5.
The Rotarian is already getting used to being the butt of jokes about his namesake.
Ironically, he was inspired to get involved in politics because was was so disgusted with the New Labour government in which Alastair Campbell served.
Mr Campbell said: ”I entered the political arena through concern about the erosion of liberty throughout the Blair/Brown era. I am for more individual initiative and less regulation.”
In a swipe at spin, he added ”Many modern day politicians rely too much on media headlines and are motivated by career development. Few stand on principle.”
The shared name of the two political figures has understandably caused confusion.
Tony Blair’s right-hand man has well-known Scottish roots, with father Donald hailing from Tiree and mother Elizabeth from Ayrshire.
He grew up speaking sporadic Gaelic at home and playing the bagpipes and has always said he feels more Scottish than English.
But election candidate Mr Campbell – whose Christian name is spelled with an ‘i’ instead of an ‘a’, is a business management graduate from Johnstone, Paisley, who set up his own chain of hotel businesses.
He is now a consultant working in land use and hospitality, a Rotarian and elder of the Church of Scotland at Paisley Abbey.
In the past he did some work with the Scottish Labour Party business forum but joined the Paisley and Renferewshire Conservative and Unionist Association in 2006.
But Alistair is not the first Conservative to share the name of the spin doctor.
Alastair Campbell, a Clackmannanshire councillor, has been coping with the comments since being elected in 1996.