Hoon asked to step down from NATO group

Geoff Hoon leaves 10 Downing Street in this January 27, 2009 file image. REUTERS/Toby Melville

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has asked former British defence secretary Geoff Hoon to step down from a group of experts drawing up NATO’s new mission statement after he was suspended from the Labour Party, a NATO spokesman said Wednesday.

“It was the British government that nominated Mr Hoon to be one of the group of 12 experts and he has served there with distinction,” James Appathurai told a news briefing.

“However, given that it is clear the British government no longer supports Mr Hoon’s participation, the secretary-general has decided to ask Mr Hoon to end his participation in the group of 12,” the spokesman said.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom