A rather slanted piece in The Observer sourced by the Mirror describes David Cameron’s first meeting with Daily Mirror Editor and former spin doctor Richard Wallace. They met at Cameron’s request, alone at his Portcullis House office, to discuss the Mirror’s repeated personal attacks on "Tory Toff" Cameron.
Wallace dismissed Cameron’s claim that "You’re treating me worse than the Sun treated Kinnock in the 1980s.", saying that this kind of criticism was "par for the course for politicians". Noting the Michael Howard vampire image when he was elected leader, he said that as the Mirror is the only card-carrying Labour paper it is
"duty bound to heap opprobrium" on Cameron every day.
Afterwards Wallace said: "I was quite shocked. This is a
man who wants to be Prime Minister, and he was whining away like a
little schoolboy". On Friday he was apparently incandescent about Cameron’s comments about the private meeting at Cheltenham, telling George Osborne: "The gloves are off. "If you want a war, I’ll give you a war’." (Quote sanitised, we’re a family website).
It’s a similar situation to when Tony Blair tried to gain favour with right-leaning newspapers in the run-up to 1997. Learning from Kinnock’s mauling, he and Alastair Campbell were successful in winning back The Sun and other newspapers, although they were disappointed at not being able to win over the Daily Mail.
Cameron had raised the prospect of lifting the ban on CCHQ dealing with Mirror lobby journalists, but that looks unlikely to happen for some time!