Gaynor fury at McCririck's funeral attack on Blair

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Indy Politics

Robin Cook's widow has asked her husband's closest friends to make it clear that the extraordinary attack on Mr Blair's decision not to break his holiday for the event was not sanctioned by the family.

But the Prime Minister's discomfort grew more acute last night as Downing Street was accused of "spinning" news of a memorial service for the former foreign secretary.

Mrs Cook asked her late husband's agent to rebuke Mr McCririck at a private wake following the official reception on Friday, The Independent on Sunday has learnt. Jim Devine, who was best man at the couple's wedding, said: "John was wrong to say that. It is not what Robin would have wanted."

Mr McCririck, a close friend of Mr Cook, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme yesterday that he "certainly did not" regret his words and would do the same again "with reservations".

"Of course, the Downing Street spin machine has been saying the family were against it," he said. "I know that to be untrue. One family member, very close, said it needed to be said, thank you very much."