By Ray Fleming

DAVID Cameron was right to resist calls for a panic return to London from South Africa yesterday following the temporary shift of the phone-hacking crisis from News International to the Metropolitan Police. Whether prime ministers should lead trade missions is open to question but countries as important as South Africa and Nigeria would not be well pleased if they found they were less important than the News International problem.

Mr Cameron showed his keeness to carry the British trade banner in his earlier visits to India and China; having set that precedent he cannot easily avoid following it. Apart from the diplomatic consequences of cancelled visits there are the interests of the 25 leading British firms accompanying Mr Cameron to keep in mind; they will have made substantial local arrangements. The cancellations of Mr Cameron's visits later in the week to Rwanda and South Sudan will be understood and can be re-activated later; Rwanda is one of the biggest recipients of British aid the newly-created South Sudan will need all the aid assistance it can get if it is to survive.

The extension of House of Commons business by one day tomorrow before the summer recess was proposed by Ed Miliband and agreed to by the prime minister. Whether a recall of Parliament during summer will be needed remains to be seen. Anything can happen.


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