Not available for service
Mea Culpa! Today I suggested to Defence Minister Nick Harvey, when he didn't seem to know the whereabouts of HMS Illustrious, an aircraft carrier, that it had been mothballed and was therefore unavailable for Libya.
I was wrong: it's not in mothballs. But it is unavailable for service.
Illustrious has been in Rosyth, Scotland since February 2010 for a £40m refit. It won't be completed until August at the earliest and after that will need to undergo sea trials. In fact, Mr Harvey's ministerial colleague Peter Luff told the House of Commons on 14th March this year that HMS Illustrious is scheduled to return to operational service in spring 2012.
And when it is it will no longer be able to carry fixed-wing aircraft: just helicopters.
Mr Harvey was unable to tell us any of this when he was on the show. But with Illustrious out of commission (for conversion) and HMS Ark Royal with a "for sale" sign on it on an MoD website, there are no aircraft carriers that Britain can deploy in Libya or elsewhere for the foreseeable future with fixed-wing aircraft.
Mr Harvey said there was nothing new about this: that fixed wing aircraft had not flown off a British carrier since 2003. Probably best that I refer you to the comments section of the Daily Politics website, where our viewers provided convincing and substantial testimony that Harriers were flying of British carriers as late as 2010 - but cannot now.
Click here to watch Andrew and Nick Harvey on Wednesday's Daily Politics.