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Carnage forces PM to cancel speech on Europe.

By TOM MCTAGUE and JASON BEATTIE DAVID Cameron last night cancelled his big speech on Europe because of the horror in Algeria.

Downing Street decided it would be wrong for the PM to go to Amsterdam to deliver his long-awaited address after so many casualties.

Foreign Secretary William Hague was also returning early from a trip to Australia to help deal with the crisis.

Mr Cameron was furious to learn of the doomed rescue only AFTER it had been launched.

Less than 24 hours earlier he demanded that Algerian premier Abdelmalek Sellal should consult him before military action was launched.

But when he phoned Mr Sellal at 11.30am yesterday he was told the operation had begun.

In the 15-minute call a furious Mr Cameron told his counterpart in a "pretty businesslike tone" that he "would have preferred to have been consulted first".

Mr Sellal then tried to explain why he had not been able to notify him. A source said: "The PM explicitly told them he wanted advance warning but they went for it." Downing Street denied Mr Cameron only called the Algerian PM after learning about the rescue attempt from UK satellite images.

It was also claimed last night that Britain offered specialist forces to advise on any rescue but the Algerians rebuffed the offer.

Yesterday's killings came as defence chiefs sped up plans to send around 40 UK troops into neighbouring Mali to help train its failing army as part of the war on Islamist rebels.

The deployment inevitably raised fears that the UK will get sucked into the conflict.

The Government previously said we would send only two transport planes to aid French intervention.

Last night Downing Street said the PM would give his EU speech at a later date. He had been due to warn Britain could go it alone unless there were major changes in the EU. His comments would have deepened rifts between him and the Lib Dems.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 18, 2013
Words:330
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