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Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, went further in appearing to confirm that the SAS was on stand-by.
Interviewed by Nick Ferrari on LBC radio, Mr Hunt said: "The most significant news is the SAS troops that are now ready to spring into action.
"They are obviously thinking very, very carefully about these 170 trapped oil workers and the issue now is how do we deal with people outside Tripoli rather than inside Tripoli."
Challenged about the lateness of the Government's response to the situat