David Cameron faced a tricky decision last week ahead of a long-planned trip to sub-Saharan Africa, his first as prime minister. This was originally drawn up as a two-pronged journey which would focus both on trade (with a delegation of business types) but also on aid – with a chance for the prime minister to justify his controversial plan to lift aid spending to 0.7 per cent of GDP.
But Cameron and his aides realised that he would be open to criticism if he spent the best part of a week on a different continent while the phone hacking scandal rumbles on in the UK – and as the eurozone crisis escalates in southern Europe.
So what to do? Cancel or delay the trip to focus on the domestic crises? Or cut the trip in half to focus on either trade or aid? And if the latter, which should be the priority?