Campbell to guest at congress

Veterinary Times’ sister publication VBJ has agreed a deal with SPVS/VPMA to sponsor the appearance of one of the UK’s highest profile communication strategist at its 2016 congress.

Alastair Campbell will give the opening address when SPVS/VPMA congress returns to Celtic Manor in Newport from January 28 to 30.

Best known for his role as Tony Blair’s spokesman, Mr Campbell was a key player in the creation of “New Labour” and the subsequent three general election wins.

As the son of a vet, he grew up in Yorkshire and Leicestershire. His father Donald graduated from the University of Glasgow and was a partner with Campbell, Cabtree and Green (now Aireworth vets) in Keighley before moving first to the ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods and then the PDSA.

After graduating from the University of Cambridge, Mr Campbell embarked on a career as a journalist, working on local newspapers in the west country, then The Mirror, and following that became the first news editor on Eddy Shah’s new Today newspaper. He returned to The Mirror as political editor before taking on the role of press secretary to Tony Blair when he became leader of the labour party in 1994.

A prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction and a champion of mental health, Mr Campbell’s latest book, Winners and How They Succeed, profiles political and sporting winners from Clive Woodward to Mikhail Gorbachev and David Beckham to Tony Blair.

Mr Campbell will combine these themes in his opening remarks to congress, sharing his insights into mental health, the characteristics of leadership and success, and his personal take on growing up in a vet’s family.