Margaret Beckett is famous for her caravan holidays
The Foreign Secretary was only installed in her high-profile job in May 2006. Margaret Beckett is supposed to be normal. She is happily married to Leo; she eats sweets in bed on Sunday mornings; and she likes caravanning holidays.
Presumably Margaret Beckett will be off on a caravanning holiday soon. Mrs. Beckett would be adhering to her traditional pattern of caravanning round France with her husband Leo for the summer now that parliament has broken up. The Foreign Secretary is to embark on a gastronomic tour of Europe in her caravan. Because she is now a player in international politics, for security reasons, the caravan will be escorted at all times by special branch officers on her caravan holiday to France although it is not clear whether they will be staying in the caravan.
It seems that the new Foreign Secretary has been forced to postpone her caravanning holiday around Europe with husband Leo, and it now looks politically impossible for her to take time off while the Middle East crisis rages on.
The Foreign Office is refusing to comment on reports that Mrs Beckett is postponing her caravan holiday while the crisis continues.
A spokesman said: "She is remaining engaged on this. She will go on holiday when she decides the time is right."
The Becketts are taking their holiday in France every year. But she insists: "We've been caravanning in Britain lots of times. We took the van to the party conference in Blackpool one year. It poured with rain, but one of the things we like about a caravan is that you can just pull into the side of the road when you want a cup of tea and, even if it's pouring, you're under shelter."
Margaret Beckett and her husband, Leo, recently bought a smart new van, with running water, a burglar alarm and very comfortable sleeping arrangements and Windsor Jacquard curtains. The minister says: "The new one has got a bigger sofa and a bigger fridge, reasonably plush fittings and very comfortable sleeping arrangements. We never say we go camping - we say we go caravanning, because I reckon when you've got a fridge, a shower, central heating, double glazing and a reasonable sized cooker, you can't say you're roughing it,", laughing.
Mrs. Beckett says it can take days for the caravanner to prepare for a trip. "There's always something broken and lots to restock." “But, once on the road, the caravan is liberation.”
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