'During a briefing to journalists today, the Prime Minister's spokesman said: "There is no suggestion the UK passed intelligence to the US that they did not act on."
But Sky's political correspondent Joey Jones said it had been an "awful" briefing.
"He tried to clear things up but only succeeded in muddying the waters still further," Jones said.
"After he read Downing Street's statement, the spokesman said there would be no further comment on intelligence issues. However, he continued to answer questions from journalists on the subject even saying: 'Whatever information was passed to the US, they did what they needed to do with it.'
"When I pointed out the contradiction, the spokesman said: 'It's not for me to comment on what the US should do with intelligence.'
Jones went on: "It's not normal practice for government officials to discuss the way their share intelligence with other countries. It is plain that the Gordon Brown's official spokesman should not have allowed himself to be drawn into such sensitive territory."'
First Brown had to admit that he hadn’t spoken to Obama “directly” about possible intelligence and now his government has to make this humiliating u-turn. Take your pick: embarrassing or hilarious? Either way, the whole episode doesn’t inspire confidence in our opportunistic leader, international intelligence services and intelligence sharing; thank God that Mutallab proved even more incompetent.
PS: Chris Grayling has just released this statement and he's 100 percent right:
“This is the second time in a week that Downing Street has given false information about the nature of its discussions with the United States over terrorist issues. For a UK Prime Minister to behave in this way is nothing short of a complete disgrace. These are highly sensitive issues of national importance and should be dealt in a manner that is free from political opportunism and spin.”