"The officials said educational or medical criteria for children would be taken into consideration, but pointed out this was already happening across the UK and was not a concession to the Scottish Executive. A source close to Mr McConnell later said: "This was a cack-handed briefing by a couple of Home Office officials."
And here in The Scotsman:
"The First Minister's advisers insisted last night that ministers had reached an agreement in principle with UK ministers to change the way asylum seekers are treated, following the Mr McConnell's intervention, and Home Office civil servants were to blame for yesterday's confusion because they did not know what was going on."Let us see for how long such a line of briefing remains sustainable. (It is seldom a good idea to attack those who can pull the rug from under your feet.)
Would anyone seriously believe that senior Home Office officials, briefing the press in advance of a visit to Scotland by their Minister, do not know what is going on?