LONDON - The crowing announcement that Britain's Labour Party had hired Barack Obama's campaign guru and former adviser David Axelrod to help propel it back to power distilled why it might need the strategist’s help.
The release on Labour’s website misspelled Axelrod’s name in the headline: "David Alexrod joins the team."
Brinley Bruton (NBC)
The Labour Party statement announcing David Axelrod's appointment. He will reportedly earn a six-figure sum as "senior strategic adviser."
This is not a mistake anyone would want to make, but it is especially embarrassing as the center-left party's Ed Miliband has been parodied in popular satirical magazine “Private Eye” as a bumbling and feckless Mr. Bean-like character.
Will Burgess / Reuters, file
British actor Rowan Atkinson plays his character Mr. Bean on an Australian beach on March 7, 2007.
“The strategist who masterminded Barack Obama’s back-to-back presidential victories in 2008 and 2012 has agreed to work with Labour to get Ed Miliband elected as Prime Minister in 2015,” declared the statement, which remained uncorrected for hours.
After helping craft the image that later swept Obama to power in 2008, Axelrod then worked with the White House's communications team.
“In his work for President Obama, David helped shape a campaign that reflected his vision, focused on building an economy that works for all hardworking people and not just a privileged few," Miliband said of his new hire.
While Labour is leading in some polls, Miliband has been criticized for not taking a strong enough stand on an array of issues, including the ruling Conservative-led coalition’s sweeping economic reforms.
Scott Olson / Getty Images
Barack Obama is seen with then-aides Rahm Emanuel, Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod at an event in Chicago on Nov. 25, 2008.
Axelrod will earn a six-figure sum as "senior strategic adviser" to Miliband as Labour aims to unseat Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015, according to reports in the British media.
A Labour Party spokeswoman declined to comment on either the appointment or the mistake.
A representative of the Conservative Party chuckled when the error was pointed out to him, but also declined to comment.
Sarah Burke of NBC News contributed to this report.
First published April 18 2014, 1:55 AM
F. Brinley Bruton
F. Brinley Bruton is an editor and senior writer at NBCNews.com in London. Bruton reports, writes, edits and acts as the main point-person in London, commissioning and editing work by NBC News colleagues around the world. She started this role in May of 2007.
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At NBCNews.com and previously msnbc.com, she documented the economic crisisâ€™s deep impact on Spanish society. Bruton has also covered Turkeyâ€™s powerful Islamist government, and the struggle by young Muslim women to be accepted in mainstream society. She has also broken news on the booming North American methamphetamine trade.
Bruton joined NBCNews.com after working as a journalism trainer and mentor at Afghanistanâ€™s Pajhwok Afghan News. While in Afghanistan, she traveled to Farah Province â€“ off-limits to most Westerners â€“ to interview a female activist who became a hero after criticizing U.S.-backed militia leaders for the U.K.'s New Statesman magazine.
Bruton was also a reporter with Reuters in London and New York from 2000 to 2004. In New York, she broke stories about subprime and predatory lending at leading lenders like Citigroup and Countrywide. In London, she wrote about the rush to cash-in on reconstruction contracts after the invasion of Iraq.
Prior to her work at Reuters, Bruton worked at the Mexico City News where she covered, among other things, unionization efforts by the cityâ€™s sex workers.
Bruton lives in London, U.K.