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30 August 2011

Andrew Mitchell caught with cabinet papers on show

International Development Secretary photographed holding confidential papers on Afghanistan.

By George Eaton

A

The International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, has become the latest cabinet minister to be caught walking out of Downing Street with confidential papers on show (Danny Alexander was another recent victim). Sky News has blurred out the text but the notes reportedly refer to the government “welcoming” the news that Hamid Karzai will not seek a third term as Afghan President. His departure means the country’s politics will be in “a better place,” the papers state.

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The government’s distaste for Karzai is hardly a state secret but it’s still an embarrassing gaffe by Mitchell.

Update: It’s also worth noting that the papers refer to the endemic corruption of the Afghanistan financial ministry. It’s a boon to those who argue that we shouldn’t give any aid to the country.