Monday, 7 March 2011

Hague on the Downing Street washing line

That was the longest morning meeting of the Lobby in some time, and there where only two issues - Prince Andrew and the botched diplomatic mission to Libya on the weekend.

The whole session can be accurately summarised as Downing Street spending more than 40 minutes defending someone they think ought to be hung out to dry and then hanging out to dry someone the government would rather defend.

On Prince Andrew there was a solid line of support from the Prime Minister's official spokesman, no review of his role despite Downing St sources being extensively quoted in the press as "shedding no tears" if the controversial Duke gave up his role as UK trade envoy.

On the decision to send a "Johnny English" diplomat into Benghazi with a bodyguard of six SBS troopers - only to have them bound over by the Libyan rebels and dispatched back via HMS Cumberland - Downing St effectively dumped the blame on William Hague, the minister responsible.

Hague will get plenty pelters this afternoon when he updates the House on Libya, and it's being seen as another example of cock-up over competence in the Foreign Office in the handling of this crisis.

Anyway, it's a dry and sunny day in London, the first in ages, a good day to hang out the washing and Hague can usually handle himself well at the despatch box.

(If the Foreign Secretary is having a hard time can you imagine the ribbing the Jack Tars would have given the SBS brigade as they crossed the Mediterranean.)

1 comment:

  1. British Aerospace and the like probably cannot believe their luck.