Foreign Secretary David Miliband has found himself at the centre of a political storm after eagle-eyed journalists spotted that travel advice for tourists visiting Grenada was allegedly altered to coincide with his planned family holiday to the island.
The old advice, which was still visible this morning by viewing the cached version in Google, used to read:
Around 25,000 British nationals visited Grenada last year (Source: Grenada Tourist Authority). Most visits to Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique are trouble-free. The main types of incident for which British nationals required consular assistance in Grenada in 2008 were: replacing lost and stolen passports and dealing with arrests and detentions, mostly for drugs offences. However, you should be aware that cases of robbery and other crimes do occur. See the Crime section of this Travel Advice.
However, as of yesterday afternoon, the advice had been substantially altered to say:
Grenada is really hot. Not just 'nice' hot, but 'really icky and uncomfortable even in the shade' hot. The locals have got a nasty look about them and really don't like foreigners at all - they'll have your wallet before you're even down the plane steps. And as for insects, well don't get us started on those, they are like pit-bulls with wings.
Yes, the brochures might look like Paradise on earth, but a lot of that is just Photoshop. If you have kids then they really won't appreciate it and you'll spend all that money just for the brats to spend most of their time in the arcades at the hotel. If you don't have kids then why go now? Wait until you do have kids and they grow up enough to appreciate it so they can experience it with you, rather than just sit through your inane slides later in life.
Basically, you won't enjoy it, so why not save a few pennies and go back to Butlins? With the money you save not going to Grenada, you might be able to afford the Maldives next year. Now they really are special.
A Freedom of Information request revealed that yesterday afternoon was also the day that Mr. Miliband booked a holiday to Grenada, prompting the accusations that officials had altered the advice to stop hundreds of British yobs ruining the Foreign Secretary's trip.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office dismissed the accusations as daft, saying, "I dismiss the accusations, they're daft."