Friday, 16 November 2007

Syria's man in the Cabinet

Lord Malloch-Brown, the controversial Foreign Office minister, was in a fresh row last night after telling senior members of the Syrian regime of his willingness to speak for them on the world stage.

The remarks were reportedly made last week at a reception hosted by Sami Khiyami, the Syrian ambassador.

One witness said the minister told the Syrians: "Think of me as your man in the Cabinet." Lord Malloch-Brown denies making the comment.

The reception was held to mark the visit of Abdullah Dardari, Syria's deputy prime minister. He and Lord Malloch-Brown are said to be close friends from when they worked at the United Nations in New York.

The Arabic newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi, whose correspondent attended the reception, said Lord Malloch-Brown gave an "emotional" speech, recalling how he had considered himself to be "representing Syria inside the UN". The minister also spoke warmly about Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president.

An "emotional" speech? Hmm. I wonder whether the good Muslims of the London Embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic serve alcohol at their receptions...

In the meantime, the people of Britain can only envy those of Syria. Wouldn't it be nice if we also had someone in the Cabinet looking after our interests, rather than the present disreputable bunch of lying, back-stabbing, cravens?