Little wonder that Gordon Brown and his new-look Government are subtly creating some distance between themselves and the George Bush administration in the US.

Obviously Mr Brown and his many ministers will deny this as they know that, for all its faults, the US is still an important and influential ally. This has been proved during Mr Brown’s first official visit to the US.

But the cosy nature of the relationship Tony Blair enjoyed with President Bush has evaporated rather quickly. Cordiality will be much in evidence, but the chummy nature of the Blair-Bush relationship is unlikely to be repeated.

There have been the odd critical statements by ministers and Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s first trip abroad – to Afghanistan, rather than Iraq – was seen as a way of showing that the UK is prepared to stand alone and not continuously hang on to the US coat tails.

The failure of the new Prime Minister to maintain the unquestioning and unswerving loyalty his predessor showed to President Bush is regarded by many as a significant achievement.

Now the revelations that the CIA blithely ignored British security services over the capture and imprisonment of suspects suggests the gap between the UK and US administrations is widening still further.

Both MI5 and MI6 come in for fierce criticism by a cross-party committee of MPs for failing to stand up to the CIA and its activities.

It shows, once again, how one-sided this so-called special relationship has been in recent years.

With friends like these, there can be no great surprise that the UK is apparently attracting new enemies by the day.

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