Apparently it’s a sign of strength to change your mind – at least that’s what David Cameron said yesterday about the sentencing U-turn.
So how’s this for a sign of strength? The foreign office this morning declared proudly on its website an additional £2.2m in funding for the World Service, headlining the announcement “Massive U-turn on BBC world funding”. (H/T to Tim Montgomerie at Conservative Home for the pic.)
Apparently though, this wasn’t a sign of strength that the government was so keen on: the headline has since been changed and disciplinary measures have been launched against the junior administrative staff who wrote the piece.
According to FCO officials, this was a “mistake” (a Freudian typo?). Number 10 says only “Look at the website now.” Sense of humour failure all round.
UPDATE (JP): Simon Fraser, permanent secretary at the FCO, told the PAC this afternoon that the headline was withdrawn after 10 minutes. “That was an inaccurate, inappropriate headline, put on an otherwise accurate description,” he said.
Stella Creasy, the Labour backbencher, asked which word was inaccurate; “massive” or “u-turn”? Austin Mitchell, also of Labour, described the £2.2m figure as mere “peanuts”.