STUDENTS got the chance to grill Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, when he visited a school in York.

The former Downing Street director of communications and strategy visited Huntington School yesterday and faced a question-and-answer session with students from Huntington and other York schools.

Mr Campbell gave pupils an insight into how it feels to be in the eye of a media storm.

Students asked a range of questions on Mr Campbell’s time at the top of British media and politics and were particularly interested in the news emerging daily about News International and the phone hacking hearings at Westminster.

John Tomsett, Huntington’s head teacher, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the young people from across the city have had the opportunity to meet such a high-profile figure and at such a timely moment.”

Jonny Uttley, director of sixth form, who chaired the discussion, said: “Politics and media have proven enormously popular with our students for several years and we have developed a reputation for excellence in this area. The visit created a real buzz in the sixth form and throughout the school.”

After the question and answer session, Mr Campbell stayed behind to talk to students and sign books.