Downing Street and the White House are engaged in a damage limitation exercise amid suggestions of a rift between Gordon Brown and US president Barack Obama.
Both governments have been forced to issue strong denials following reports that five requests from the Prime Minister for a one-on-one meeting during his trip to the United States had been snubbed.
Mr Brown was apparently able to snatch some private "face time" with Mr Obama only in a kitchen during a dinner with other leaders in New York.
The row came as the Prime Minister was braced for more bad news, with rumours sweeping Westminster that business minister Baroness Vadera - one of his closest economic advisers - is set to leave the Government.
The White House released a statement dismissing suggestions that Mr Brown had been snubbed by Mr Obama as "absurd", and describing relations between the two men as "terrific".
"Any stories that suggest trouble in the bilateral relationship between the United States and UK are totally absurd," a spokesman said.
"We would add that President Obama and Prime Minister Brown enjoy a terrific relationship, they speak regularly on a range of the most difficult challenges facing our two nations, and meet frequently."
The spokesman added that the two leaders had already "conferred" during the climate change meeting in New York.
Downing Street accepted that there had been "numerous calls" between officials and the White House, where "potential meetings" had been discussed.
But a spokeswoman added: "We have said all along that the situation with formal bilateral meetings, that they were not pinned down but they would be spending time together in New York and at the G20, where they would be discussing pressing issues."