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Euan job with bitter critic of Bush, Blair

Washington, Aug. 28: Euan Blair, Prime Minister Tony Blairís eldest son, has lined up a second stint of gap year political work experience in Washington with a senior Democrat who has been a leading critic of the handling of intelligence before the invasion of Iraq.

Euan, 21, will serve an internship with Jane Harman, who represents southern California in the House of Representatives and is the ranking minority member on the intelligence committee.

He has already arranged to work as an intern early next year on the powerful House Rules Committee under David Dreier, a prominent conservative Republican.

The decision of a Labour Premierís son to work for a member of the Right-wing Republican leadership surprised Democrats on Capitol Hill. But Harmanís role in pursuing the failings of pre-war intelligence gathering on Saddam Husseinís supposed weapons programmes could also raise awkward moments for Euan.

A lawyer by training, Harman, 60, is one of the wealthiest members of Congress 'thanks to the fortune amassed by her husband, Sidney, from his audio-equipment business ' and in 1998, she ploughed more than $15 million of their money into a failed bid for the California governorship. If Euan wants to visit the golden state, she will be able to invite him to her home in Venice, Los Angelesís funkiest beach district.

Harman is a moderate Democrat who voted for the war in Iraq and backs the continued presence of American troops there ' factors that will doubtless have weighed significantly when Downing Street and the British embassy discussed options for Euanís second internship.

However, she has also been highly critical of the US intelligence agencies for the mistaken advice that was used by President George W. Bush, backed by Euanís father, to justify the US-British invasion in March 2003.

Euanís Washington sojourn is further evidence of New Labourís close transatlantic focus as well as a possible indication that he is also considering a career in politics.

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