Britain's top civil servant has revealed how hard dealing with the US has become since the handover to Barack Obama's administration, with the G20 summit a particular problem.
Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell said Downing Street was finding it “unbelievably difficult” to prepare with Washington for the crucial G20 summit in London on 2 April.
He said No 10 was even having trouble getting in touch with key personnel at the American treasury department. “There is nobody there,” he told a civil service conference in Gateshead. “You cannot believe how difficult it is.”