Cameron in Benghazi
Rory Stewart may have been the first Tory MP into Libya after Gaddafi’s ousting from Tripoli (though let’s not forget the battle for Sirte is still going on), but he certainly wasn’t the last. David Cameron and William Hague were hard on his heels. The prime minister had a tricky line to walk as he addressed the crowds in Benghazi’s Tahrir Square (he and Nicolas Sarkozy were ‘greeted as heroes’, according to British state television): how to take credit for the regime change but at the same time downplay the level of foreign intervention? The former (former?) PR man handled it with his trademark plummy aplomb. Bending down to reach the microphones – or to make sure that Sarkozy could hear him – he said: ‘While we are proud of the role that we played to help, we know this was your revolution’ – before reeling off a list of Libyan cities to show he’d done his homework. The important thing now though, as the BBC frankly reported last week, is to get the oil flowing as quickly as possible – for the sake of ‘Libya’s long-term prosperity’, of course.