Euan Blair 'gave up his Capitol Hill internship over differences on Iraq'

PM's son found office of congresswoman too left wing, insiders say
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Indy Politics

The US Congresswoman whose office Euan Blair has left prematurely is a trenchant critic of the Iraq war, it emerged yesterday.

The Prime Minister's eldest son abruptly left his internship with Jane Harman after just two weeks. It is reported in Washington that the Bristol University ancient history graduate was "bored" and "uninterested" in his duties.

Roll Call, a Congressional journal, even described the young Mr Blair as a "dilettante".

But another possible reason emerged for the sudden termination of Euan's tenure: Ms Harman's attitude to the intelligence promoted by his father in the run up to war in Iraq.

The whisper on some of the smarter Westminster streets yesterday is that he found Ms Harman's office "too left-wing" for his liking.

Ms Harman, a Democrat, is known as one of the leading US critics of this intelligence. In particular, she has launched attacks in the wake of the CIA's Duelfer report, which concluded that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction.

Ms Harman said the report "is yet another example that there really are two Americas. There's the one that exists in the Bush fantasy world, and then there's the real America". She maintained that the report showed a diminishing threat from Iraq at the time of the invasions.

Thanks to her husband's audio equipment fortune, Ms Harman is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, and is suspected by some inside her party of being "too moderate and inclined to accommodate the Republican agenda".

It was pointed out yesterday that Ms Harman rated a 0 per cent approval rating from the American Conservative Union. Euan's previous, Republican, employer scored 92 per cent.

But Roll Call, which reported Euan's departure from Ms Harman's office, opted for a more prosaic explanation. It wrote that he seemed "uninterested" in the junior tasks he was set, and described him as a "dilettante".

Downing Street yesterday had its own take on events. "Euan had to cut short his internship because he needs to attend some preliminary courses over the summer before starting a post-graduate degree. He thoroughly enjoyed his time as an intern in both offices and is extremely grateful for the experience."

EUAN'S BOSS

"President Bush and his advisers decided how and when to fight this war. They owe Congress and the American people a detailed strategy to bring our engagement in Iraq to an end"

Jane Harman, Congresswoman

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