British politicians find their good intentions crippled while in government, actor Tom Hollander has claimed.

In upcoming political comedy In the Loop, Hollander plays young minister Simon Foster who inadvertently finds himself at the centre of a diplomatic furore when he appears to give his backing to an overseas war.

The fictional international development secretary eventually convinces himself that not resigning, despite his inflammatory remarks, is braver than falling on his sword; a scene directly inspired by a passage in former Cabinet minister Clare Short's autobiography.

Speaking ahead of the film's release, the Gosford Park actor said he could sympathise with the ethical quandaries faced by politicians once in power.

"The one thing I thought was that anybody in politics must have thought when they were at the 'I'd like to be a train driver' stage of their lives that they'd 'like to make the world a better place'," he explained.

"You have to believe that's the reason politicians got into it, not because they wanted to take over the world unless they're crazy people.

"Most of them go into it for good reasons, presumably, but you only have to read the papers to see they're beset by endless things stopping them from their likely natural inclination to do the right thing, so they're constantly forced to do the wrong thing."

In the Loop is released on April 17th.

16/04/2009 00:01:01