Secretary of State For International Screwups William Hague has said that he takes 'full ministerial responsibility' for a bungled diplomatic mission in Libya which led to British personnel being captured by armed rebels.
More details have been emerging about the reportedly botched mission, which caused six personnel and an intelligence officer to be handcuffed and held for some hours. The personnel have now been released and are aboard HMS Cumberland.
Mr Hague said, "I take full responsibility for authorising the mission. Unfortunately, it was an error on my part. I had meant to call the SAS, but unfortunately I'd had 14 pints and ended up drunk-dialling my constituency Morris-Dancing Society instead. They did the best they could do, under the circumstances."
A spokesman for the Richmond Morris Men said, "obviously we were surprised to receive Mr Hague's call - escorting Intelligence officers isn't normally within our remit. But we had a blank space in the diary, and he said he needed us."
The spokesman added, "the black assault gear was a bit of a problem, but it worked well once we added the bells and traditional hats. However, once the helicopter landed, our problems really began. The Libyan rebels thought our accordion was a dangerous weapon, and the MoD Rules Of Engagement wouldn't let us use the Stick And Bucket Dance, so all we had to defend ourselves with were our white kerchiefs. It kind-of went downhill from there really."
Questions have been asked in Parliament over Mr Hague's decision to employ Morris Men in such a volatile situation, with Labour MP Denis MacShane predictably asking if the Foreign Slaphead had considered his position.
SAS troopers, speaking anonymously about the botched mission, said that had the Morris Men were inadequately equipped and prepared for their risky insertion. One said, "I mean, come on. It sounds like they didn't even have a publishing deal ready for when they got captured. How ill-prepared is that?"
Andy McNab was all-too-available to comment.