Straw was able to sleep in comfort aboard Condoleezza Rice's Boeing 757 Air Force jet while the US secretary of state was forced to rough it out in the corridor on Saturday.

Rice reportedly offered Straw the fold-out bed in her private cabin as the two flew overnight to Kuwait.

But rather than doing what some would see as the gentlemanly thing, Straw accepted - and Rice aide's said she slept outside in the plane's corridor.

One British newspaper has already dubbed the affair "Bedgate"; but the foreign office dismissed the fuss, telling the Sun newspaper: "We are more interested in foreign policy than what bed he slept in."

The two were flying to Kuwait before transferring on to a military flight for a surprise visit to Baghdad.

Last week Rice visited Straw's home constituency of Blackburn, where it is believed she spent a more comfortable night.