A delegation of church leaders from the US last night criticised US president George Bush for sidelining the churches in the US who were opposed to war with Iraq.
At a press conference following a 50 minute meeting with the Prime Minister, the delegation led by Jim Wallis of the Sojourners community in Washington DC made clear their unhappiness with the way that the President was ignoring US churches.
By way of contrast they praised Tony Blair's willingness to listen.
According to the delegation, which came to the UK to make a 'last-minute' plea against war with Iraq, George Bush has consistently refused to meet with any church leaders who did not express support for his position.
Speaking at the offices of Churches Together in Britain and Northern Ireland who hosted the visit to the UK Jim Wallis spoke of George Bush's sincere personal faith but lamented his failure to listen to anyone who did not share his perspective.
Dan Weiss, the immediate past president of the US Baptist Churches, said: "There is a shift in American opinion and our president up until now will not see us.
"He listens to religious voices but not the voices of moderation. I guess if you have a messianic complex you don't like religious people saying you are wrong."