'A very serious and dangerous situation': David Cameron chairs emergency meeting on Algerian hostage crisis
David Cameron chaired an emergency meeting today on the Algerian hostage crisis which Downing Street described as a “very serious and dangerous situation”.
A second session of Whitehall’s Cobra committee – bringing together ministers, military chiefs and the intelligence services – is to be held this afternoon.
The seizure of hostages has hit Mr Cameron’s preparations for a much-anticipated speech setting out future Tory direction on European Union policy which he is due to make tomorrow in Amsterdam.
Downing Street insisted he was still planning to travel to the Netherlands – and that preparations were being put in place for Mr Cameron to chair a further Cobra meeting tomorrow despite being out of the country. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, is also out of Britain on a visit to Australia.
Mr Cameron’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is always in charge. He often makes speeches.”
He has spoken to his Algerian counterpart, Abdelmalek Sellal, about the crisis, as well as the Japanese and Swedish Prime Ministers. Both nations have a number of hostages in the Algerian oil field.
Mr Cameron’s spokesman said Britain was allowing the Algerian government to take the lead in responding to the crisis. He said the Government was “working through” the Algerians and BP, which part-controls the facility, and indicated that Britain had not received any requests for help.
One Whitehall source said: “This is a situation where the Algerian government, understandably, very much sees itself as in the lead in its sovereign territory.”
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity is available for a par...
£26000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Breakdown Engineer...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This care provider provides hom...
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...