Merkel ‘snubs’ Cameron

By Aled Thomas

Angela Merkel met today with the Prime Minister but not with David Cameron.

The German chancellor spoke with Gordon Brown at Chequers about Afghanistan, nuclear proliferation and the economy, but had no time to meet with the Conservative leader and possible next PM.

In contrast Mr Cameron was invited to the French Embassy a few weeks ago when President Sarkozy visited Britain.

Conservative aides say the lack of a meeting between Mr Cameron and Ms Merkel, who, as a Christian Democrat, should be more in tune with the Conservatives than Labour, is not a sign of a bad relationship.

A Conservative spokeswoman told politics.co.uk: “We were trying to set up a meeting, but sometimes these things just don’t work out.

“Ms Merkel has invited us to Berlin and is very keen to have us, which wouldn’t been the case if she was snubbing us.”

The spokeswoman added that a trip to Germany for Mr Cameron would be difficult to achieve before the general election.

Today’s meeting began in the late morning and preceded a lunch for the two leaders.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister and Chancellor Merkel had an excellent discussion at Chequers which focussed on foreign policy and the world economic situation. One year on from the London G20, they discussed the steps necessary to ensure another successful G20 summit in June.

“They also had a long discussion on climate change in advance of the Bonn meeting, and talked about the latest developments in the Middle East peace process. On Iran, there was strong support from both leaders for sanctions, and agreement on the continued need to engage with international partners on the issue.”

Ms Merkel is reported to have been angered by the Conservative’s decision to withdraw Tory MEPs from the European People’s Party (EPP) grouping of centre-right parties.