Brown branded as 'invisible man of British politics' over Lockerbie silence

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London, Aug 25 (ANI): British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was branded as the "invisible man of British politics" after he refused to break his silence on the release of the Lockerbie bomber, resulting in a bitter diplomatic row with the United States.

The Tories accused Brown of cowardice for failing to comment on the decision.

Americans are being urged to boycott British goods in protest at the freeing of Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, jailed for life for the 1988 attack on a Pan Am jet that killed 270 people, The Sun reports.

But Brown has not said a word publicly despite breaking off his holiday to congratulate the England cricketers on their Ashes victory.

Brown is set for tough questioning about the release today when he faces reporters at No 10 with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu. Brown's spokesman insisted that he would not comment on al-Megrahi's release, as it was a matter for the Scottish Government.

"Clearly the Prime Minister recognises this was a very difficult decision and was clearly an extremely sensitive one. There will be very strong feelings from the families of those who were victims of this terrorist attack," the spokesman said.

He also rejected FBI director Robert Mueller's claims that it gave succour to terrorists.

Pressure piled on Brown to speak out after Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Andrew will now not go to Libya next month on an official visit.

The decision to free al-Megrahi, 57, was taken by Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill on compassionate grounds because the Libyan is dying of cancer.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said: "Although the decision to release al-Megrahi was a Scottish one, for which Gordon Brown was not personally responsible, the fallout puts the UK at the centre of an international storm." (ANI)

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