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Two-man government

Blair must abandon government by secretariat in foreign policy.

By David Owen   December 2003

On Monday 5th April 1982, the foreign secretary, Peter Carrington, resigned, following the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands. As he wrote in his memoirs, “The anger of the British people and parliament at the Argentine invasion of the Falklands was a righteous anger, and it was my duty and fate to do something to assuage it.”

This resignation had far-reaching consequences. It marked a significant weakening in the power of the foreign secretary and a build up in the role of No 10 in the conduct of foreign and security policy. This trend has been reinforced by two periods…

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