Gaddafi and friends: in pictures

World leaders may now be condemning the Libyan leader for his use of violence, but it hasn’t always

The photograph above, of Tony Blair embracing Gaddafi during a trip to Libya in 2007, is now notorious. Peter Popham argues today that "throwing down the welcome mat to this monster is one of the scandals of the age".

brown

Above, Gordon Brown shakes hands with Gaddafi at the G8 summit in 2009.

berlusconi

Gaddafi embraces the Italian premier, Silvio Berlusconi. Their countries signed a controversial friendship pact in 2008. The two men reportedly spoke on the phone earlier this week.

obama

Also at the G8 summit in 2009, Gaddafi shakes hands with the US president, Barack Obama.

mandela

Here, Gaddafi shares a stage with Nelson Mandela.

putin

Vladimir Putin is pictured with Gaddafi during a 2008 trip to Libya to rebuild Russian-Libyan relations.

zapatero

With Spain's Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, pictured in 2007, when the Libyan leader travelled to Madrid to sign a series of lucrative deals with political and business leaders.

chirac

Above, the former French president Jacques Chirac is shown during a 2004 trip during which he pledged to build a "true partnership" with Libya.

ben-ali

And, finally. one friend that Gaddafi would rather forget. He is pictured here talking to the Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali back in 2000. The other two are Morocco's King Mohammed VI and the Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, still in office today after nearly 12 years.

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

Getty
Show Hide image

Commons Confidential: Dave's picnic with Dacre

Revenge is a dish best served cold from a wicker hamper.

Sulking David Cameron can’t forgive the Daily Mail editor, Paul Dacre, for his role in his downfall. The unrelenting hostility of the self-appointed voice of Middle England to the Remain cause felt pivotal to the defeat. So, what a glorious coincidence it was that they found themselves picnicking a couple of motors apart before England beat Scotland at Twickenham. My snout recalled Cameron studiously peering in the opposite direction. On Dacre’s face was the smile of an assassin. Revenge is a dish best served cold from a wicker hamper.

The good news is that since Jeremy Corbyn let Theresa May off the Budget hook at Prime Minister’s Questions, most of his MPs no longer hate him. The bad news is that many now openly express their pity. It is whispered that Corbyn’s office made it clear that he didn’t wish to sit next to Tony Blair at the unveiling of the Iraq and Afghanistan war memorial in London. His desire for distance was probably reciprocated, as Comrade Corbyn wanted Brigadier Blair to be charged with war crimes. Fighting old battles is easier than beating the Tories.

Brexit is a ticket to travel. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is lifting its three-trip cap on funded journeys to Europe for MPs. The idea of paying for as many cross-Channel visits as a politician can enjoy reminds me of Denis MacShane. Under the old limits, he ended up in the clink for fiddling accounts to fund his Continental missionary work. If the new rule was applied retrospectively, perhaps the former Labour minister should be entitled to get his seat back and compensation?

The word in Ukip is that Paul Nuttall, OBE VC KG – the ridiculed former Premier League professional footballer and England 1966 World Cup winner – has cold feet after his Stoke mauling about standing in a by-election in Leigh (assuming that Andy Burnham is elected mayor of Greater Manchester in May). The electorate already knows his Walter Mitty act too well.

A senior Labour MP, who demanded anonymity, revealed that she had received a letter after Leicester’s Keith Vaz paid men to entertain him. Vaz had posed as Jim the washing machine man. Why, asked the complainant, wasn’t this second job listed in the register of members’ interests? She’s avoiding writing a reply.

Years ago, this column unearthed and ridiculed the early journalism of George Osborne, who must be the least qualified newspaper editor in history. The cabinet lackey Ben “Selwyn” Gummer’s feeble intervention in the Osborne debate has put him on our radar. We are now watching him and will be reporting back. My snouts are already unearthing interesting information.

Kevin Maguire is the associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 23 March 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Trump's permanent revolution