Campbell and Iannucci in Twitter skirmish

Alastair Campbell got embroiled in a delicious Twitter war with Armando Iannucci. Tony Blair’s former press secretary attempted to scorn Iannucci, the creator of The Thick Of It, for accepting an OBE.

Iannucci is thought to have based his foul-mouthed Scottish spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It on Campbell. Campbell was quick to seize on the news about Iannucci’s honour, tweeting that the writer "joins the Establishment he claims to deride. Malcolm Tucker and I do not approve of honours system."

Iannucci quickly hit back with a reference to Campbell’s notorious involvement in the dossier that supported Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war: "It's probably more Establishment to order your army to march into other countries for no reason. Swings and roundabouts."

Campbell then accused Iannucci OBE of losing his edge: "your wit a bit tired and blunt already. Three little letters can have more impact than you realise. Tut tut." "WMD" was Iuannucci’s pithy retort, a quick reference to Campbell’s role in that "dodgy dossier" It was plain that the pair would be unlikely to come to a cosy agreement.

Iannucci has taken his brand of sharp political satire to the USA, where his HBO sitcom Veep, starring Seinfeld actress Julia-Louis Dreyfus, has received rave reviews. British viewers will be able to see it on Sky Atlantic from June 25. Iannucci has also confirmed that he is working on a new series of The Thick Of It, which will be heavily influenced by the Leveson enquiry. Campbell and Blair have both had cameo roles in that particular broadcasting saga.

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