Prime Minister David Cameron told the committee holding an inquiry into his 2011 Libyan campaign that he is too busy to answer questions before the panel.
Despite being the driving force behind the war, which plunged Libya into its current chaos, Cameron said in his written response to the committee that the likes of Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond had already given a “good deal of evidence” to cover the issue.
A spokeswoman for the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, which asked Cameron in March if he would appear before the end of April, told the Press Association the panel would now press ahead with publication of its report into the war.
Prime ministers traditionally refuse to attend Commons Select Committee meetings, leaving them to governmental department heads instead.
US President Barack Obama recently claimed the PM had appeared “distracted” during the Libyan war, though the Atlantic magazine reported in March that Obama privately refers to the war as a “sh*t-show” of Cameron’s making.
Recent rumors that the UK could intervene in Libya again with a commitment of 1,000 troops have died down after widespread criticism.
Libya’s new UN-brokered unity government rejected the idea of accepting UK troops almost immediately upon arrival in the war-ravaged capital of Tripoli in mid-April. The new authority apparently felt it would look like a Western lackey if its power obviously derived from foreign military support.
Mattia Toaldo, a Libya specialist at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told the Times newspaper at the time that officials in the new administration are afraid of being seen as “foreign puppets” and hope “people in Europe will stop talking about this for a few weeks.”
Tory MP Crispin Blunt, chairman of the UK Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, has been an outspoken critic of both the original war and calls for further intervention.
On April 14, he rebuked the government for being “less than candid” about current UK Special Forces activity in Libya, saying it should come clean about its clandestine operations.