Alastair Campbell’s comedian daughter Grace has admitted she feels Tony Blair ‘stole’ her father and ‘competing’ with the Prime Minister for his attention as a child left her ‘incredibly insecure’.
The 25-year-old, whose Yorkshire-born father served as the Downing Street press secretary as New Labour began to take shape in the mid-1990s, appeared on Lorraine today when she recalled spending much of her childhood at Number 10.
She told host Christine Lampard the experience had left her crippled with insecurity, saying: ‘Tony Blair came into my world when I was a baby and stole my dad from me.
‘I was competing with the Prime Minister. How can that not make you incredibly insecure? I don’t know.’
Alastair Campbell’s comedian daughter Grace, 25, from London, has admitted she feels Tony Blair ‘stole’ her father
Grace, who is about to release her book Amazing Disgrace: A Book About ‘Shame’, explained her unconventional childhood had had a deep impact on her psyche.
She said: ‘You’re always behaving so you don’t shame or embarrass [your parents] them and that was a huge pressure which did affect me.’
Grace explained: ‘PPT means Pre-Tony Time. My brothers got lots of Pre-Tony Time because they’re older than me. But I got no Pre-Tony Time. My whole life has been Tony Time.’
She continued to say that while her father and Tony had been a great team, she felt she was constantly competing for his attention.
Grace, whose father served as the Downing Street press secretary as New Labour began to take shape in the mid-1990, said she ‘competing’ with the Prime Minister for Alistair’s attention left her feeling ‘incredibly insecure’
She explained: ‘Tony was like “Alistair, you need to run my campaign”. Sure, they did a good job. But I was jealous.’
Grace went on to discuss how the experience had deeply impacted her confidence, saying: ‘I think no one is good with rejection. If you have empathetic feelings then being rejected in any form is never nice.’
She continued: ‘It used to happen loads with boys who would say, “You’re too much” or would reject me in cruel and manipulative ways and it played into all my insecurities.
‘Some of those did come from being a child, but some come from being a teenage girl and not quite being pretty enough for boys to like you but still being really confident.
Grace’s father Alastair (left with Tony Blair) served as the Downing Street press secretary after Labour’s landslide victory in 1997
‘I don’t think boys knew where to place me and I got rejected loads.’
She added: ‘It turned me into someone who would self destruct…[I had a] terrible pit in my stomach of feeling like I was unlovable.
‘I would self destruct by drinking and doing other unlawful things that I won’t mention at this time.’
Grace went on to tell Christine she had since found ways to cope with her mental health struggles, saying: ‘I think medication is amazing and there is no shame on being on medication. I take medication for my mental health.
Meanwhile Grace told presenter Christine she was ‘rejected loads’ by boys growing up which fed into her insecurities
‘I’m obsessed with yoga, and having a really good routine. Being able to overshare – I’m a complete oversharer and because I overshare, I think it makes other people feel less alone.
She added: ‘When I talk openly about my mental health, I feel other people can come to me with their problems too.’
Earlier this year, Grace revealed how Tony Blair had called her into order to apologize after she was heckled during a stand-up gig for the Iraq War.
In February, she told The Sunday Mirror’s Notebook magazine: ‘I got heckled about who I am by a drunk woman who shouted, “You’re a war criminal, you’ve got blood on your hands.”
Believing the comments were unfair – as she was only nine when Mr Blair’s government decided to invade Iraq – Grace went on: ‘I told my Dad about it, and he told Tony Blair, and Tony rang me and said, “Oh Gracie, Gracie, I am so sorry this happened to you, this really is all my fault.”
‘In my show I make the joke that I have an exclusive – I’m the first person to get Tony Blair to apologise for the Iraq War.’