My thanks to Liz for drawing my attention to a new book coming out which claims that the outgoing Observer news editor Kamal Ahmed helped Alistair Campbell "sex up" the dodgy dossier on Iraq. The book is Flat Earth News written by Nick Davies - a Guardian writer who is said to be close to the editor Alan Rusbridger. This may explain the tensions between the sister papers in recent weeks: Ahmed is known to be very close to Alton and the Observer took a pro-Iraq War line while the Guardian was and is hostile.
The Mail reports: "According to publishing sources, the book will claim that Mr Ahmed and Mr Campbell worked on the dossier in February 2003 – a critical point in the diplomatic build-up to war – when Mr Ahmed was The Observer's political editor and Mr Campbell was Mr Blair's director of communications.
"It alleges that Mr Campbell asked Mr Ahmed to help write the anti-Saddam presentation when they were flying to a Blair-Bush summit.
"The dossier, which was later pushed under the hotel doors of journalists covering the trip, made a number of claims about Iraq's evasion of weapons inspections."
Ahmed denies these allegations, as does Alton - but I don't believe them. Click here for full story. And follow Arcati labels for the story on Ahmed's resignation from the Observer to take up a six-figure salaried job on a government quango - a timely appointment.
For some time now I have said that Alton is the wrong editor for the Observer - he is a right-winger with no real sympathy for the paper's natural leftish-liberal tendency. Why the Scott Trust appointed him in the first place is a complete mystery to me.