Blair to use summit to lobby for war on Iraq
Tony Blair plans to use the margins of the Johannesburg earth summit to rally support for US President George Bush's increasingly unpopular war on terrorism. As dissent grows over Mr Blair's backing for a US-led attack on Iraq, the Prime Minister is determined to shore up allies.
But even within the US, there are increasing doubts. Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state and foreign policy guru, and Brent Scowcroft, President George Bush senior's former national security adviser, have both expressed their disquiet.
On Friday the President said he was aware "some very intelligent people" were expressing opinions, and that he was listening to the debate. But he added: "I'll be making up my mind based upon the latest intelligence, and how best to protect our own country plus our friends and allies."
It is not yet decided whom the Prime Minister will meet in South Africa, but sources said he was sure to speak to as many leaders as possible, and Iraq would be on the agenda.
The summit will follow a diplomatic drive by Mr Blair that has already seen him break his holiday to hold informal talks with his French counterpart, Jean-Pierre Raffarin. He also plans to meet King Faud of Saudi Arabia to try to reassure him about the stance of the US and Britain towards Iraq.
Mr Blair is also under pressure at home. Robin Cook, the Leader of the House, has been asked by Labour backbench dissidents to be a voice against the war in Cabinet. And the anti-war movement in and out of Parliament is gathering momentum.
The Prime Minister has also been criticised by the Tories for failing to condemn the decision of African nations to nominate Libya to chair the UNHCR.
In a letter to Clare Short, the International Development Secretary, her opposite number, Caroline Spelman, called for reform of the human rights commission and for the UK to "show leadership in preventing the UN Human Rights Commission falling into the hands of serious human rights abusers". Ms Spelman said that progress on human rights should not be sacrificed in the name of better relations with Colonel Gadaffi.
Human Rights Watch has also condemned the decision, claiming it was a "real setback" to put a country with a poor human rights record in charge of the commission.
But the Foreign Office said last night: "Regardless of nationality the role of the chair is specific. The UK is committed to protecting human rights worldwide.''
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
'Pumpkin shortage' warning ahead of Halloween after crops left 'damaged by poor weather'
Brazilian wandering spider: Where are they from and how deadly are they?
35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
The 10 best folding bikes
Saharan sun could provide energy for UK homes in £8bn plan to build 100 sq km solar farm - and a very long power cable
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...
£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are looking for Founda...