Sunday, January 09, 2005
Further FCO Incompetence (09.01.2005)

Whilst the government hails the performance of Jack Straw and the FCO, relatives and the police are clamouring for a list of the missing so that relatives can know if their friends or family members are on the list. With the unbending insensitivity that only this government has mastered, the FCO supports a procedure that has been used in other disasters of far smaller magnitude.

Relatives criticised the Foreign Office's decision to stick to guidelines for the identification of the dead and missing that were developed for smaller-scale disasters. The Metropolitan Police are thought to have become increasingly frustrated by the FO's refusal to make public all but the most definitive death toll figures. One police source told The Observer that there was no reason the FO could not publish a list of the countries where the 391 Britons now presumed dead actually perished, as they had done for the 50 confirmed deaths. He urged the media and the public to keep the pressure on the Foreign Office to release more detailed information. 'They really have to take ownership of this,' he said.



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