Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

Darling cancels his trip to Davos

Alistair Darling
Mr Darling will spend the time doing "other things"

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling has decided not to travel to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"It was decided that as a number of the people he was due to meet had pulled out, his time would be better spent doing other things," a spokesman said.

The Treasury would not confirm which of his meetings had been cancelled.

Most of US President Barack Obama's new economic policymaking team decided not to travel to the Swiss ski resort, which may have disappointed Mr Darling.

BBC correspondent Bridget Kendall in Davos has ascertained that the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, is also not attending.

She said his evaluation was that the Davos summit is first and foremost about the economic crisis and it would not be the best use of his time.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown does still plan to attend the event and will be using it to lay the foundations for the G20 summit in Britain in April, according to his spokesman.

Among the US officials who pulled out are US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and President Obama's top economic adviser Lawrence Summers.

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