The baroness and the illegal immigrant
VIP suite, Heathrow airport: No prime ministerial trip abroad would be complete without trouble brewing at home. Gordon Brown has the minor matters of the threat to the global economy, the planet, and peace and security to address in New York and Pittsburgh in the next few days.
However this morning, his thoughts have had to be on the baroness and the illegal immigrant. The prime minister has decided not to sack his attorney general on the grounds that she did not "knowingly" employ an illegal immigrant. His aides have dubbed this a technical breach of the law. In truth, it is a breach plain and simple, since not knowing a worker is illegal is no defence under the law which Baroness Scotland helped to pilot through Parliament.
Mr Brown quotes the UK Border Agency and the cabinet secretary in his explanation on why he has backed, and not sacked, his attorney general.
Of course this was, in reality, like all such decisions, a political judgement, about the value of the individual concerned, the seriousness of the offence and the political cost of losing her against keeping her.