John Kampfner was a political correspondent and commentator for the BBC and Financial Times and is currently Political Editor of the New Statesman. He has exposed the origins of the link and subsequent bond between former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and ex President George W Bush. A young George W Bush spent a summer on the Perthshire (Scotland) family farm of the Gammell family. Young Willy Gammell became a childhood and lifelong friend of George W, oh…and young Willy Gammell was also one of Blair’s closest school friends at the elite Fettes College in Edinburgh.

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction…


Bill Gammell was born in Edinburgh. His father was an investment banker, invited at an early age to join Edinbugh’s Ivory & Sime (which was started in the late 1800s with the formation of the British Assets Trust.) Gammell attended Edinburgh’s exclusive Fettes College where he was friends and debating partners with future British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The two have remained close friends. After Fettes, Gammell attended the University of Stirling where he obtained a BA in Economics and Accountancy.

Gammell’s father invested in US oil company Bush-Overbey, owned by future US President George H. W. Bush. The two families became friends, with George W. Bush spending the summer at the Gammell’s farm in Scotland. George W. attended Bill Gammell’s wedding in Glasgow in 1983. The two have remained close friends. When George W. Bush assumed the Presidency, both he and Blair reportedly called their mutual friend Gammell to ask his opinion of the other.