Frosty Brown Sours Special Relationship; No Dinners after Nine Months: Gordon Brown and US Ambassador Robert Tuttle

Article excerpt

NINE months into the job and Gordon Brown has yet to dine with theAmerican ambassador Robert Tuttle. The Prime Minister is known to want todistance himself from the outgoing Bush administration and may be trying tocalculate whether he should be cosying up to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton orJohn McCain, but the dithering of this omission is disturbing diplomaticobservers.

In Tony Blair's day, the PM was on firstname terms with George Bush, Tuttle andhis predecessor William Farish.

"I find it quite extraordinary that the Prime Minister hasn't dined with theAmerican Ambassador," says a constitutional historian who has often been aguest at the Ambassador's residence in Regents Park. "There goes the specialrelationship." It's not that Gordon Brown is anti-American.

He likes to take his holidays in Martha's Vineyard and he has many friends inBoston academia and in Washington.

It's just that he doesn't seem to value diplomatic contacts.

The PM has a good working relationship with Hillary Clinton from the days ofthe Blair government and, through Lord Malloch-Brown, with Barack Obama. …