Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Sunday, 30 August 2009


Is this an "Oops!" moment?

The Times reports :-

The British government decided it was “in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom” to make Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, eligible for return to Libya, leaked ministerial letters reveal.

Gordon Brown’s government made the decision after discussions between Libya and BP over a multi-million-pound oil exploration deal had hit difficulties. These were resolved soon afterwards.

The letters were sent two years ago by Jack Straw, the justice secretary, to Kenny MacAskill, his counterpart in Scotland, who has been widely criticised for taking the formal decision to permit Megrahi’s release.

The correspondence makes it plain that the key decision to include Megrahi in a deal with Libya to allow prisoners to return home was, in fact, taken in London for British national interests.

and The Mail picks up another issue :-

The Lockerbie row took another twist yesterday when it was revealed that a public relations company owned by one of Lord Mandelson’s close friends has opened a branch in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Brown Lloyd James (BLJ), whose partners include the friend, ex-Beatles manager Peter Brown, has been conducting a campaign to promote Libya’s business interests for the past nine months.

The firm’s favoured position with the oil-rich regime has now raised questions about the PR guru’s connection to Peter Mandelson, whom he has known since the Nineties.

Mrs Rigby was sure Mr Brown said the Megrahi release was nothing to do with trade, that it was a Scottish decision, and was nothing to do with Westminster. Maybe she misunderstood? It seems to happen to her quite a lot lately - these 'senior moments' are coming thick and fast!

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