John Harris: Inside the court of London’s golden couple, Elisabeth Murdoch and Matthew Freud | Media | The Guardian

by peterjukes

Matthew is good at is contacts and fixing. He became useful because he was linked to so many people.”

One former member of the circle around Blair reckons that Freud was “almost vicious” in using his contacts to push his way into New Labour’s highest circles, and that “both Blairs used him greatly”. Freud has claimed that he was a member of “various steering groups, some of which report to the prime minister”, though his representatives, when asked to explain what this meant, said they had “no more details”. His role in the Blair years seems shadowy and non-specific: there is the odd reference to him in the requisite biographies, and most of the right insiders seem to have had at least fleeting dealings with him, but nailing down exactly what he brought to the party is hard.

This much we know: Freud was, and remains, friendly with Mandelson, who appointed him to work on the Millennium Dome and sit on one of the project’s most senior committees. His close relationship with Tessa Jowell meant that when her ministerial career wobbled thanks to alleged bribes paid by Silvio Berlusconi to her husband David Mills, Freud put his PR skills at her disposal, and was – to quote one expert on New Labour – “very active on the phone – a mixture of cajoling, and threatening, and all of that”.

A few years earlier, Freud had a big hand in organising the party that celebrated Labour’s victory at the 2001 election.

via John Harris: Inside the court of London’s golden couple, Elisabeth Murdoch and Matthew Freud | Media | The Guardian.

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