As if he didn't have enough on his plate with the economy and a pummelling in the polls, a major oil summit planned for December is proving a headache for Prime Minister Gordon Brown as he wrangles over just whom to invite.
The guest list for a gathering of OPEC states and other oil giants would tax even the most gifted of party planners, requiring as it does a pow-wow including some of the world's less palatable leaders. Iran's chipper chappy Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and his Israel-bashing entourage will be stewing at home in Tehran, uninvited. But the Prime Minister will direct his rictus grin and brisk handshake at both Hugo Chávez - himself not exactly a stranger to these parts - and, intriguingly, Colonel Muammer Gadaffi of Libya, who both make the list.
Libya is no longer the pariah of global politics that it was following the shooting of WPC Yvonne Fletcher and the Lockerbie terrorist attack in the Eighties. A thawing of relations since 9/11 and Libya's formal declaration in 2004 that their WMD programme was terminated has seen the African nation rejoin the global community. The football fanatic Gadaffi even considered an audacious bid for Crystal Palace, while Tony Blair is among numerous high profile visitors to Tripoli in recent years.
Should he attend, it will be Gadaffi's first visit official visit to London after years of isolation. We suspect the sight of his trademark black Bedouin tents (replete with female bodyguards) encamped on Parliament Square won't do much for Brown's battered image. Mr. Chávez, meanwhile, may have some probing questions about why his oil deal with London was cancelled. It will take all of Gordy's renowned charm and cajoling to come out of this one unscathed.