Peter Watt does battle with Stephen Pound MP on the Sunday Show with Adam Boulton

  • January 18, 2010 17:30
  • Katy Scholes


Peter Watt on the Andrew Marr Show

  • January 18, 2010 17:27
  • Katy Scholes


Peter Watt on his first live TV interview for Inside Out

  • January 18, 2010 17:09
  • Katy Scholes

I had never done a live TV interview before – and on Sunday I had to do two. To say I was nervous when I went to bed on Monday evening is an understatement. To be honest I didn’t sleep very well and getting up really wasn’t a problem. Vilma was brilliant at trying to keep me calm but the house was so busy this weekend that I couldn’t wait to leave.

I got to the Andrew Marr show and waited in the Green Room and I began to feel calmer. I knew what I wanted to say and this was my first chance to say it in person. The only slight glitch was that I think that I overdid the coffee and I was getting caffeine rushes. Sat waiting for the opening shots I managed to have a conversation with Nick Clegg – we spoke about the joys of early mornings with the kids.

The interview with Andrew Marr was over in a flash buy I think it went ok. Carol Vorderman, who was reviewing the papers, told me she thought it went well and asked for a signed copy of the book. And then on to Sky for a session with Adam Boulton and Steve Pound MP.

The Green Room was busy as Ken Livingstone and Edwina Currie were preparing for their paper review. It was good to see Steve, I’ve always liked him and we spent some time catching up. And then we were on. Steve had a bit of a go at me, I had a bit of a go back – but it was all pretty friendly. It was over pretty quickly.

In the car on the way home Vilma texted me to say well done, she said that I only looked nervous right at the start of the Marr show. I was pleased as well; I had a chance to again explain why I have written Inside Out and why now. I had a chance to acknowledge that some Labour activists are understandably cross with me. And I was able to show that I stand by and am proud of my book.


INSIDE OUT My story of betrayal and cowardice at the heart of New Labour, by Peter Watt. Published 25th January

  • January 10, 2010 11:56
  • Katy Scholes

Inside Out: My story of betrayal and cowardice at the heart of New Labour


Isabel Oakeshott, top political journalist who worked on Inside Out, writes about Peter Watt and the book

  • January 10, 2010 11:27
  • Katy Scholes

Isabel Oakeshott

LAST night was extraordinary, and this morning it just gets better. Everyone is talking about Peter Watt’s sensational memoirs, which I ghost wrote for him – and I’m not surprised.

When I first met Peter nine months ago, I knew I had hit journalistic gold. Here was a man who had enjoyed the highest level of access inside the Labour government, who had worked closely with Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and other towering figures in the Labour party on a daily basis - and crucially, he was ready to reveal what really went on behind the scenes.

It didn’t matter that Peter wasn’t a household name. It was not about who he was, but what he knew. Yes, there have been books about the Labour regime by famous insiders like Alastair Campbell and John Prescott. But they were never prepared to risk the consequences, political and personal, of telling us the embarrassing and often ugly truth about life behind closed doors at Labour HQ and in no10.

Watt was treated appallingly by Brown, and had no such reservations. He knew where the bodies were buried, and he was prepared to show us. After being publicly condemned by Brown despite his years of loyalty, then forced into silence by a police investigation, it was finally time for him to have his say.
Crucially, Peter understood what I needed to make his story really fly: colourful and irreverent anecdotes like his ghastly account of a dinner party he and his wife attended at no10. He was funny and self deprecating, and I knew we had to write this book.

A number of publishers shied away from the project. After all, the received wisdom is that political books don’t sell – or do they? Iain Dale at Biteback understood the massive potential. In the end, the book was the subject of a bitter bidding war. Biteback’s faith in this book is paying off.

Isabel Oakeshott is Deputy Politcal Editor of The Sunday Times