I was talking to Antony Calvert today, the Conservative candidate who narrowly missed out on toppling Ed Balls from his Morley and Outwood seat in the general election last month and he revealed something potentially interesting.
We were discussing how successful his fund-raising campaign had been and he told me that one of the contributors to his fund had been Alastair Campbell.
Now I am not certain that this is the same person as Tony Blair's former chief spin-doctor. It is not after all an uncommon name and Antony may have been yanking my chain. Perhaps for example it was Ali Campbell the former lead singer of UB40 instead...
However if it was the Campbell politicos know and love then perhaps he was demonstrating that he is well aware of something that most outside Labour circles know, Balls would be a disaster as Labour leader. As Antony acknowledged during my discussion with him today, he may well have done the nation a favour by reducing Balls' majority to just over 1,000 making him a risky bet for Labour to elect him for other reasons. Although he would actually have liked to see Balls as Labour leader like a lot of Labour's opponents for obvious reasons!
UPDATE: I think I may have got this one wrong. I have not yet been able to contact Antony again to make certain of this but from what someone else has mentioned to me apparently Campbell cracked a supportive joke to Antony regarding the Ed Balls fight at an awards ceremony. I think the confusion has arisen because we were discussing fund-raising and then Antony mentioned something about Campbell being a supporter and I misunderstood what this meant.
Apologies both to Antony Calvert and Alastair Campbell if I have got it wrong.
So sadly it looks like the answer to the question I pose in the title is no!