Sir Bernard Ingham, Margaret Thatcher’s former press secretary, has
defended Clare Short’s claim that Government spin doctors are out of
’She is undoubtedly right. She does seem to be the target for spin
doctors. She is right to say they have too much power and they should be
curbed in the long-term interests of the Government. They should learn
how to behave,’ he said.
His comments follow the International Development Secretary’s outburst
against staff at the Foreign Office. In an interview in the Independent
on Sunday, Short claimed Foreign Office officials told journalists that
she would be sidelined in the Government’s dealings with the leaders of
Montserrat, the island devastated by volcanic eruptions. The Foreign
Office has denied the claim.
The offices of Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and Clare Short refuse to
comment further on the row. A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: ’We
believe now is the time to look forward. Our focus is to overcome the
misunderstandings between the Government and the people of Montserrat.’