HAS Rishi Sunak lost his marbles? Well, he certainly looked rattled at Prime Ministers Questions yesterday, and his refusal at the last moment to meet the Greek Prime Minister in a row over 5th Century BC carvings has given so much ammunition to Labour leader Keir Starmer that even he – not noted for his off-the-cuff wit or humorous delivery – was able to induce some guffaws at Mr Sunak’s expense.

There are not many voices of support for Mr Sunak’s position coming from his own benches, with even his predecessor as Richmond MP, Lord Hague, conceding: “It’s not a great advert for diplomacy all round.”

The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, did not handle his BBC interview especially well but, when asked on camera by Laura Kuenssberg about the Elgin marbles, he had to frame a reply. He re-stated the Greek government stance – that the stones removed from Athens by Lord Elgin in the early 19th Century should be returned – although he did so in an over-the-top way.

A British Prime Minister, though, should be big enough to negotiate a way around a spat with a friendly country, particularly as George Osborne, the former Conservative Chancellor who now chairs the British Museum, is edging towards an eminently sensible compromise of loaning the sculptures to Greece. There should not be an international incident in this.

The agenda for the meeting had so many bigger issues of real importance to the British people – most notably migration – that should have been discussed, yet Mr Sunak let the opportunity pass, presumably because he wanted his right-wingers to see him talking tough.

As Lord Hague said, this was not a great advert for diplomacy.