Palin is coming to London

Palin says that she hopes to visit London soon to meet with Margaret Thatcher.

Following her One Nation bus tour of the US East Coast, Sarah Palin is hoping to take her pre-presidential campaign international with a visit to London. A lull before the bus tour resumes in Iowa, where the first Republican primary will be held, means that Palin will have an opportunity to brush up on her geography.

She told the Times (£): "I love London and England ... We hope to be able to visit soon. I'd like to meet with Margaret Thatcher." But an aide for Thatcher cast doubt on whether the Iron Lady would meet with Palin. He told the Independent: "Nowadays, the Lady rarely meets people at all. If a meeting went ahead it would be very much low-key, and would very much depend on how things were on the day. We don't make firm appointments for this sort of meeting."

Palin reportedly expressed no desire to meet David Cameron, something that is likely to come as a relief to the Prime Minister. But, as my colleague Sophie Elmhirst noted in her piece on the rise of Palin's "mama grizzlies", several of Cameron's MPs are keen admirers of the former Alaska governer.

Nadine Dorries declared: "I think Sarah Palin is amazing. I totally admire her", while Louise Bagshawe hailed Palin as a "remarkable figure": "I watched her acceptance speech at the Republican party conference and it seemed to me that it was a glorious moment, a birth of a new political star."

Palin, who once mistakenly assumed that Africa was a country, not a continent, is hoping to stop in London on the way to Sudan in July.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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What did Jeremy Corbyn really say about Bin Laden?

He's been critiqued for calling Bin Laden's death a "tragedy". But what did Jeremy Corbyn really say?

Jeremy Corbyn is under fire for describing Bin Laden’s death as a “tragedy” in the Sun, but what did the Labour leadership frontrunner really say?

In remarks made to Press TV, the state-backed Iranian broadcaster, the Islington North MP said:

“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died.”

He also added that it was his preference that Osama Bin Laden be put on trial, a view shared by, among other people, Barack Obama and Boris Johnson.

Although Andy Burnham, one of Corbyn’s rivals for the leadership, will later today claim that “there is everything to play for” in the contest, with “tens of thousands still to vote”, the row is unlikely to harm Corbyn’s chances of becoming Labour leader. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.