| ||British diplomatic mission to Paris fails
3 Nov 2002
Attempts to improve diplomatic relations between the UK and France appear to have failed this lunchtime after Jack Straw's goodwill mission to Paris ended in disaster. As we reported yesterday, the Foreign Secretary was despatched to the French capital by Tony Blair after French President Jacques Chirac called for the expulsion of Britain from the EU.
Mr Straw was sent to "make up" with Mr Chirac, but sources in the Foreign Office tell us that he was "sent packing". A secretary at Mr Chirac's official residence went further, telling us that Mr Straw's "goodwill baguette" – a gift from the Prime Minister – was not well received. "Chirac told him he could stick it where the sun doesn't shine. That could mean anywhere in Britain," she joked hilariously.
The Prime Minister is still determined to get back on good terms with the French, though, as they are essential for getting a UN resolution against Iraq. A special cabinet meeting has been called for tomorrow to discuss the situation, but it is understood that John Prescott's suggestion of sending him "a gorillagram" is likely to be voted down.
Oi, down here!