Oh dear. It wasn't so long ago that Labour brains were suggesting to the Sunday Times they would get one over the government by sending a member of Keir Starmer's frontbench team to the inauguration of Joe Biden. The idea was that shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy would attend after months of building relations – thereby shining a light on the Conservative party's comparatively slow progress.
Yet as inauguration day finally gets underway, it turns out that Nandy is not in Washington D.C. Instead, she's is in the UK doing a morning media round. In an interview with the Guardian, she said that while she had been due to attend she pulled out once England entered its third Covid lockdown.
A curious state affairs. First, that inauguration story appeared for the first time 3 January. That was a day before Johnson announced the lockdown and the same day Keir Starmer called for one. So, can it really have come as much of a surprise? A lot of areas were in Tier 4 by that point anyway from which only travel abroad for work is permitted. And that business travel is still allowed even though the country is in lockdown.
Could something else be going on?