1. Carl Dinnen

UK will not provide surveillance 'drones' for Mali mission

The Prime Minister spoke to the French President Francois Hollande about the situation in Mali.

David Cameron spoke to Francois Hollande about the Mali mission. Credit: Andrew Winning/PA Archive

As a consequence two RAF transport aircraft are going to help the French effort there. One is already in France (where it has, slightly embarrassingly encountered a technical problem) the other was due to arrive around midday. From France they will ferry equipment and supplies to Mali.

The C-17 Globemasters are huge machines, I flew to Afghanistan on one with the PM and his team a few weeks ago. Each has a crew of seven and the Government is at pains to make clear there are no UK forces involved in Mali a combat role.

At a later date it is possible that British forces will support the training mission in Mali but I'm told that suggestions the UK could provide surveillance 'drones' are wide of the mark as the French already have them.