Friday, 24 July 2009

Lord Malloch Brown on tape. Where does this leave the Foreign Office/Gordon Brown defence?

On Wednesday night, Lord Malloch Brown claimed on the BBC that he had been misrepresented in an article in The Daily Telegraph based on an interview with Mary Riddell. He even claimed that:
"For whatever reason, the Telegraph journalist chose to elide two different statements about different issues."
Unfortunately for Lord Malloch Brown, the Foreign Office and the malignancy that lies at the heart of British politics - Gordon Brown - The Telegraph's Mary Riddell has a tape of her interview with Lord Malloch Brown and unsurprisingly Mary Riddell and The Telegraph did not misrepresent the Foreign Office Minister's views.

Here's the audio, the key part is from 00:42.

Here's a my transcript of what I believe was said:
Mary Riddell - "... but are they under-resourced for a start?
Malloch Brown - "We definitely don't have enough helicopters but we've been screaming about that... you need, above all else, mobility"

When this story broke it was obvious that the Foreign Office row-back on what their minister had said was a political decision to minimise embarrassment to Gordon Brown. At the time I blogged:
"Maybe some clarification is needed. Was Lord Malloch Brown misleading The Telegraph or is the Foreign Office misleading the BBC? Surely it must be one or the other... "
Maybe after the ridiculously long summer holiday this could be a question that Gordon Brown is asked; not that we will get a straight answer.

The Telegraph's story on the tape can be read here.

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