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Joker Al leaves the embassy in stitches.

Byline: Murphy's Law

WHEN our ambassador invites the British Home Secretary to a reception in the classical surroundings of the London embassy, Murphy doesn't expect him to have a dig at us, however humorous.

Welcoming Alan Johnson to the embassy in Belgravia last week, Bobby McDonagh said in a short speech there was "no room for Irish triumphalism because Ireland had won the Triple Crown and Grand Slam".

Johnson promptly replied: "Let's hope they don't have to wait another 50 years to do it again." Thanks.

Speaking at a party for a journalists' charity, Johnson had his audience in stitches as he took pot shots at a wide range of targets.

His ex-boss Tony Blair would be remembered for "having a dicky heart".

"Unfortunately", he said, his political ally "President Clinton would always be remembered for exactly the opposite."

He apologised for being slightly late because he had been to a reception for human rights group Amnesty International.

He said: "We had to read out the works of imprisoned authors from each of their countries. Unfortunately I had to read Jeffrey Archer's."

Referring to his sacking of Britain's chief drug adviser for saying cannabis was less harmful than alcohol and riding a horse was more dangerous than taking the drug ecstasy, Johnson said: "At this morning's cabinet meeting Peter Mandelson asked me, as we were going in, why I kept referring to the government's ex-chief drug adviser as Professor Nutt ? "I replied 'Because, Peter, that's his name'."

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Banter... Alan Johnson and, right, ambassador Bobby McDonagh
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 8, 2009
Words:257
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