UK Politics

Did anyone pay attention to Britain at G20?

  • 6 September 2013
  • From the section UK Politics
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David Cameron and other world leaders at the G20
Mr Cameron played a leading role in discussions on Syria and the global economy, his aides insist

Is it true?

That is the only question which really matters about the suggestion made by a Russian spokesman that Britain is a small island no-one listens to.

At his post summit news conference President Putin clearly enjoyed pointing out that whilst Mr Cameron still backed military action in Syria parliament had said no.

The prime minister's aides insist, though, that was not sidelined at this meeting of world leaders.

Yes, they acknowledge, he did not have a one to one meeting with the US President unlike Barack Obama's new brother in arms, Francois Hollande.

However, they point out that last night [Thursday], before the summit dinner, he could be seen leading the dialogue between the President and other European leaders.

What's more, they note, Mr Cameron chaired a meeting of leaders from Italy, Canada, Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, the EU and the UN on how to increase humanitarian aid to those affected by the Syrian war and to find safe ways to deliver it.

Even without the backing of MPs the prime minister came here as one of the principal cheerleaders for intervening in Syria. He did not change the minds of other leaders but neither did Presidents Obama or Hollande.

So, perhaps that Kremlin official overstated his case a little.

He did, though, give the prime minister the opportunity to list all that this small island - or should that be islands - had achieved and even, suggest, someone might like to put it to music.