Prime Minister Gordon Brown won't see father of Iraq hostage
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he will not meet the father of an IT worker being held hostage in Iraq.
Graeme Moore's son, Peter, was abducted along with four British bodyguards from the Iraqi Ministry of Finance in May 2007.
The concerned father, from Wigston, wanted to meet Mr Brown as part of a Leicester Mercury readers' question and answer session to ask him about his son's plight.
Mr Moore was due to meet Mr Brown at Stephenson College, in Coalville, today.
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But Downing Street have blocked the meeting, saying Mr Moore is not the "designated next of kin".
IT consultant Peter, 36, grew up in Leicester before moving to Lincoln to live with his mother and her partner.
Mr Moore described the situation as "complete nonsense".
He said: "I am Peter's next of kin and all this is because Peter filled out a form when he was 16, naming my ex-wife's partner as his next of kin in case of an accident.
"The Government just don't want to talk to me and Gordon Brown is just refusing to answer my questions.
"I was very close to Peter and although he lived in Lincoln I was in regular contact.
"Nobody seems bothered about him and all I want is answers but I get fobbed off – this is how it's been with the Foreign Office all along."
Last week, the Leicester Mercury launched an opportunity for readers to send in questions for the Prime Minister, with a few given the chance to pose them face-to-face.
Mr Brown was visiting Coalville and meeting the chosen readers before travelling to Nottingham for a regional cabinet meeting.
In a letter to the Mercury, Mr Moore said he wanted to ask Mr Brown: "Given your public statement that you are not going to do what you should be doing, why should we believe anything you say?
"This is in particular reference to you and the Foreign Office's deliberate mishandling of the hostage situation in Iraq.
"You have also stated publicly that you are not going to speak to Peter Moore's family (i.e me) and that you are not going to do anything for Peter.
"Given that you have the deaths of three of them on your hands, please answer fully and without any waffle."
A Downing Street spokesman said: "Our first priority in this case must be the hostages and their designated next of kin.
"Graeme Moore is not Peter's designated next of kin but of course the PM understands that any situation which involves hostage-taking can clearly be very distressing for all of the family, not just the designated next of kin.
"The Foreign and Commonwealth Office do provide Graeme with information on significant developments.
"The FCO would, however, be happy to speak to Graeme again and we recommend that he calls FCO consular officials.
"This is obviously a very private and sensitive matter, not just for Peter Moore's family, but for the families of all five men and we do not feel it is appropriate for the PM to meet Graeme at his visit to the Stephenson College with the Leicester Mercury and other readers. This terrible case continues to be a top priority for the Government.
"A large and experienced team based in London and Baghdad is working with the Government of Iraq and the US authorities in Iraq at the highest level to try and secure the return of Peter Moore and Alan McMenemy.
"The Prime Minister has raised this issue with the Iraqi Prime Minister on a number of occasions."
The bodies of two of the bodyguards who were with Peter, Jason Creswell and Jason Swindlehurst, were brought back to the UK in June.
In August, the body of security guard Alec MacLachlan, 30, of Llanelli, south Wales, was flown home. Mr McMenemy, from Glasgow, a fourth guard, is feared dead.