By Paul Goodman
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A small boy was isolated in a crowd of 26 people yesterday evening when he claimed that the Emperor is wearing no clothes.

The child is reported to have cried out: "But he isn't wearing anything at all!" before rapidly being silenced by 23 members of the crowd.

His isolation is a reversal of the traditional small boy policy of "being at the heart of the crowd" and raises serious questions about his future.

The twin designers of the clothes, Merkel & Sarkozy Inc, have promised the Emperor the finest suit from a fabric invisible to anyone unfit for his position.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott said: "This appalling blunder is a terrible reflection on the boy's youth and inexperience."

Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "The boy should never have got himself into the position in which he said the Emperor was wearing no clothes in the first place."

Three members of the crowd said that they will need to consult before deciding whether the Emperor is wearing any clothes or not.

They are believed to come from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Sweden.  The boy is reported to have been educated at Eton College and Oxford University.

Markets and credit ratings agencies are expected to take a view shortly on whether the Emperor is wearing any clothes or not.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke was unavailable for comment.