21/02/2012 01:10 GMT

Jeremy Paxman: Foreign Office Should Be Scrapped

The Foreign Office is a relic of the British Empire that and should be scrapped, according to Jeremy Paxman.

The veteran Newsnight presenter said the money saved could be put to better use by the government funding other forms of "soft power" around the world.

"There's a very strong case for getting rid of the whole of the Foreign Office, apart from trade missions and consular services," he told the Radio Times.

"It grew as the empire grew, and it predates not merely email and video-conferencing, but the Bakelite telephone.

"We could spend the money on expanding the British Council, funding scholarships in Britain and developing the World Service of the BBC. That's the way you spread influence in the modern world," he said.

The Huffington Post UK wonders whether his younger brother Giles, the British ambassador to Spain, would agree.