Borders date for Alastair Campbell's political diary

TONY Blair's former spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, heads a political line-up at the Borders Book Festival, which will be held at Melrose in midsummer.

Mr Campbell, often described as the most powerful unelected politician in the country, will be talking about his best-selling diaries, The Blair Years. Sir Menzies Campbell, Lord Hurd and the political satirist and impressionist Rory Bremner are also on the programme.

Unveiling this year's line-up, which is sponsored by The Scotsman, director Alistair Moffat highlighted the fact that the festival would host some of the finest writers in the country and also one of Scotland's biggest literary prizes, the Sundial Scottish Arts Council Book Awards.

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