Her Maj's Ambassador to Ethiopia Robert Dewar has just made a statement.
"I am extremely relieved and happy, as are all of us at the Embassy, including DFID and the British Council, that our five friends and colleagues are safe and well."
"I am pleased to report that the five all seem to be in generally good health."
Press Office, Downing Street (West), London SW1A 2AL
Seeing that the Dame Lady Pauline Neville Jones Fan Club were called out en masse to root around 7 squillion miles of desert for the missing dips, it seems (to Lord Patel in his snug hideout) that their anonymity has been remarkably well preserved.
It would require an exceptionally disordered mind to begin, even to start to think that this wonderful desert holiday in the searing heat was quite the carefree break away from it all ,in the stuffy Embassy. Thank goodness they didn't take any children !
Perhaps they were just looking at salt pans and lots, and lots, and lots of sand. Or are we taking this with a pinch of salt pan ?
UPDATE Thursday night
Happily the anonymous adventurers are returned to the bosoms of their family and children - the press seemingly incapable of either naming them , getting a decent snap. or signing them up for "My Holiday in Hell in the hot salt pans on the Ethiopian Border" sories.
UPDATE Sunday Newspapers 18th March
Not a whisper about the Ethiopian adventures.Nul.Zero.Blank.