A BP-chartered flight carrying 150 people from Libya
has landed at Gatwick airport amid heavy criticism of government
efforts to evacuate Britons trapped when Libyans rose up against Muammar Gaddafi.

UK officials said they had not yet been ordered to be deployed to Libya and may not be needed.

frigate HMS Cumberland was off Benghazi, Libya’s second city, but not
yet able to take people on board because of choppy seas, defence
officials said.

An RAF Hercules transport aircraft has landed at Tripoli and another, based in Malta, is planning to fly to the Libyan capital.

Larger C17 aircraft based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire are on standby to fly to Libya, according to defence sources.

Hercules touched down in the Libyan capital as the first
government-chartered plane sent to retrieve hundreds of stranded
Britons was due to set off back to the UK.

Meanwhile, US president Barack Obama has warned Gaddafi that he faces the prospect of international sanctions over
violence against demonstrators, and condemned Gaddafi’s actions as
outrageous and unacceptable.

Obama is sending the secretary of
state, Hillary Clinton, to Europe to discuss what actions can be taken
to stop the violence, and to take part in a meeting of the Human Rights
Council in Geneva.