Cover power trip third edition

From 1999 to 2009, Damian McBride worked at the heart of the Treasury and No. 10. He was a pivotal member of Gordon Brown’s inner circle before a notorious scandal propelled him out of Downing Street and onto the front pages. When he released his memoir Power Trip in 2013, its frank depiction of the dirty work that props up British politics was greeted with shock, disgust and awe. Never before had the lid been blown off the Westminster system with such ferocity. Throughout the book, McBride made no effort to cleanse his reputation; instead, he sought relentlessly to expose the manipulation, plotting and skullduggery that lay at New Labour’s core.

Ten years on, Power Trip remains the essential guide to understanding the murky underbelly of modern politics and how it can shape and corrupt those who inhabit it for too long. Now updated with a new foreword, this is the 10th anniversary edition of the most explosive political memoir of the past decade.


It is utterly gripping. I found it enjoyable and appalling in almost equal measure.

Ruth Davidson, The Scotsman

It is the essential political book of the year. His memoir will be read first for the elegant and lightly told vignettes. McBride can write, which makes it a pleasure to read...

Benedict Brogan, The Telegraph

Current Affairs Book of the Year: This devastatingly forthright account of McBride's years as Gordon Brown's spin doctor and attack dog is the best book I have read all year.

Sian Griffiths, Sunday Times, Culture

‘It is utterly gripping. Working with Ed Balls and Ed Miliband at the heart of the Gordon Brown machine, his knowledge, access and assessment of the three is unrivalled.’

Ruth Davidson, Scotland on Sunday

I have always admired McBride’s writing – imagine Luca Brasi with a Cambridge degree – and am not surprised that his memoirs are proving so gripping, given the material and his genuine talent as a stylist.

Matthew d'Ancona, The Telegraph

Power Trip is the political memoir of 2013: whatever your feelings about Gordon Brown's former spin doctor - "McPoison" - he has written a racy, lucid and very well-informed account of the last years of New Labour.

Andrew Neather, Evening Standard

For me the undisputed political book of the year has to be [Power Trip] - disgraced spin doctor Damian McBride's occasionally terrifying account of his life and work in the court of Gordon Brown. He gives an achingly vivid account of his role in New Labour's palace intrigues in his confessional memoir, Power Trip. And he managed to shock even Westminster insiders who'd had an occasional glimpse of his activities... [T]here are enough accounts of systemic leaking and brutal smears to provide a horribly revealing insight into the seamy side of political life. And it's very well written.

Mark D'Arcy, BOOKtalk

It is pacy and McBride writes with a nice turn of phrase. As a glimpse into the Brown bunker it offers much.

Robert Shrimsley, Financial Times

This is probably the most enjoyable book you can read about that chapter of Britain’s political history. Come to think of it, it’s probably the most enjoyable book I’ve read all year...

Milo Yiannopoulos, The Kernel

McBride has a tremendous narrative gift, as well as a great clarity of thought. The latter is a marvel...

The Sunday Times

Damian McBride is a bastard. And, unusually for a memoirist, he's very keen to let you know that from the start... often as interesting for what it doesn't say as for what it does.

Helen Lewis, New Statesman

McBride’s book Power Trip strips away the fluff, the verbiage, the feeble exuses and the patronising twaddle that gushes from our political leaders and their spin doctors and we are left with the equivalent of cage fighting; The Thick of It now looks tame…

Janet Street-Porter, The Independent on Sunday

In our last issue we reported a couple of jolly transport anecdotes from Power Trip, the autobiography of Gordon Brown’s controversial spin doctor, Damian McBride…Well we’ve finished the book and what a cracking read it was!

Local Transport Today

It’s worth [reading] for the insights McBride provides into the way we were governed during the New Labour years.

Choice Magazine

This accessible account of the role of Gordon Brown’s former spin doctor Damian McBride provides an insight into many of the main players as well as the murky world of Westminster’s journalistic goldfish bowl…McBride has an interesting view on the Brown-Blair feud.

Morning Star

The most explosive – and expletive laden - political book of the year. The memoir of Gordon Brown’s former spin doctor is not for the faint of heart, but it contains some of the year’s most riveting prose and gives an insight into our political system most politicians would rather you didn’t see.

Dan Hodges, The Telegraph

A tale of treachery, dishonest, expletives, un-deleted, and the subversion of elected governments by a talented rogue employee who was allowed to run rings round the system, largely unchecked.


Reading Power Trip, one is both fascinated and appalled by McBride’s brutal philosophy, self-deception and pride in twisting the truth. What drives him from the first time he is asked to do some work for Brown is his love and admiration for this most unlovable politician.

Total Politics

McBride can write, certainly. His account of his continuing adventures after the publication of the first edition of Power Trip is entertaining … And McBride’s honesty about his past misdeeds is disarming.

The Independent

It is well written, generous to friend and foe alike and...

Chris Mullin, The Observer

It is an eye-opener about the factionalism - and hate - that can exist within one government.

Alison Phillips, Daily Mirror

50 shades of Labour skullduggery

Peter McKay, Daily Mail

[Power Trip] reveals that McBride's notoriety was well deserved.

The Week

Best Political Book of the Year

Toby Young, The Telegraph
Show more

Share this book

Buy this book

  • Paperback, 496 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785908385
  • 28 September 2023
  • £14.99
Buy on Amazon

not available
not available
not available
  • eBook
  • ISBN: 9781849547819
  • 28 July 2014
  • £6.99
Buy on Amazon

About our eBooks

Similar titles:

Didn’t You Use to Be Chris Mullin?
Red Knight
Alastair Campbell Diaries: Volume 8
London's Mayor at 20