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Too much info, diplomats

Britain has laid down rules on diplomats publishing books after the scandal over Chris Meyer's memoirs.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 18:52 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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Britain has tightened the rules on diplomats publishing books after its former ambassador to Washington embarrassed ministers with memoirs covering the lead-up to the Iraq war.

The new rules require diplomats to avoid writing anything that would damage the confidential relationship with ministers, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Wednesday.

"All contracts of employment and letters issued on retirement now explicitly draw attention to the rules on publication and the duty of confidentiality," Straw said in a written statement to parliament.

Christopher Meyer, Britain's ambassador to the United States from 1997 to 2003, caused controversy late last year with the publication of his book DC Confidential.

Meyer said Prime Minister Tony Blair had been "seduced by the glamour of U.S. power" and described several ministers as "political pygmies".

He accused Blair of failing to use his influence in Washington to delay the start of the Iraq war.

Meyer, who is now chairman of Britain's independent press watchdog, has insisted the public has a right to know how ministers behave behind closed doors.

First Published: Mar 09, 2006 17:34 IST