Touring The Wensleydale Creamery, foreign secretary William Hague showed how close his finger is to the political pulse by looking to get some (belated) reflected glory off a beleaguered Barack Obama.

"They need some good cheese in America," Hague quipped, vowing to take some Wensleydale to the US prez "next time" he gets invited to the White House.

Hopefully the Yorkshire cheesemakers have an alternative marketing plan just in case Bill's invite from Sarah Palin in 2012 gets lost in the post.