Why Bibi was in the soup

Tony Blair revealed one reason why he admires Israel at the Board of Deputies dinner on Tuesday. Shortly after becoming Prime Minister, he was dining with Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

Israeli waiters sometimes have "an attitude", he explained. The waiter who brought the soup managed to deposit it into the lap of his leader. While the waiter brushed off his clumsiness with a dismissive exclamation, Mr Blair recalled, Bibi's reaction was along the lines of "I'm really sorry". That was the difference, Mr Blair said, between a country where the politicians lived in fear of the people from where the people, the politicians.

Fellow speaker Chancellor George Osborne displayed his lighter side, too, remarking that it was the first time he had appeared with Mr Blair since a "who does Gordon Brown like least competition".

He had asked a friend before the function what to expect: "500 guests, 600 opinions – just like a coalition government."

    Last updated: 10:43am, November 26 2010