‘Bizarre demands’ for embassy staff

British nationals are wasting embassy time with “ludicrous” inquiries about lost false teeth, runny jam and plastic surgery problems, William Hague said.

The Foreign Secretary urged expats and tourists not to stretch scarce consular resources by making “bizarre demands”.

Among the calls logged by overseas Foreign Office staff are requests for help erecting a chicken coop, advice on where to have Christmas lunch in Spain and a plea for assistance translating “I love you” into Hungarian.

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Mr Hague said: “It is not our job, for example, to book you restaurants while you are on holiday.

“This is obvious, you may think. But nonetheless it came as a surprise to the caller in Spain who was having difficulty finding somewhere to have Christmas lunch.

“If, like a man in Florida last year, you find ants in your holiday rental, we are not the people to ask for pest control advice.”

Mr Hague added: “We ask British nationals to be responsible, to be self-reliant and to take sensible precautions.”