Axelrod disputes BBC report that he advised Gordon Brown ahead of big debate

Jon Ward Contributor
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The buzz leading up to Thursday evening’s debate in Britain between the candidates for prime minister — which will be televised for the first time in the history British political debates — has been enormous.

In the U.S., the political world has noted with some surprise that Anita Dunn, who until December was President Obama’s White House communications director, has been advising the conservative candidate, Tory leader David Cameron.

Dunn has refused to comment to The Daily Caller when asked about the arrangement. However, I’ve heard from some liberal activists who are not happy that an Obama adviser (the arrangement when Dunn left was that she would still attend some meetings at the White House) is helping a conservative.

But current Prime Minister Gordon Brown is also getting help from a U.S. political operative close to Obama. Pollster Joel Benenson, who helped Obama prepare for his debates, has been working with Brown to do the same.

Into this environment, the BBC threw a piece of information that could cause a political conflagration, alleging that David Axelrod, one of President Obama’s top advisers, has been advising Brown as well.

If it were true, it would be highly unusual. But Axelrod told me Thursday morning that the report is “not at all true.”

“I have not one whit to do with it,” Axelrod said by e-mail of the Brown campaign and the British election.