Last week, Insurance Times' intrepid reporters followed up the story of Heath Lambert's business trip with the top brass of Ecuador's air force to the Moulin Rouge. This obviously involved a call to Ecuador's embassy.

Who said the language of diplomacy is dead? Just take a look at the ambassador's carefully worded reply:

"The Embassy of Ecuador presents its compliments to Insurance Times magazine and has the honour to refer to the faxed question.

"The diplomatic mission wishes to inform Insurance Times magazine that such information comes from a waiver made to the authorities in Ecuador, which is currently being investigated.

"The embassy can neither confirm or deny the veracity of such information. The Embassy of Ecuador avails itself of this opportunity to express to Insurance Times the assurances of its highest consideration."

Alistair Campbell, eat your heart out.