Just been checking out the draw for next week’s Foreign Office questions. Quite a few on the Middle East, Libya, Tunisia and Burma (where Hague has just been on a visit).
The most intriguing question is from Peter Bone. It says simply [to ask the Foreign Secretary] “what his role would be in a national emergency”.
This is another attempt at his “what if David Cameron fell under a bus” question. He wants to know if Nick Clegg, as Deputy PM, would take over, or William Hague, as Deputy Leader of the Tory party.
He asked Clegg the question on 20th December: “I wish the Deputy Prime Minister a merry Christmas, but if the Prime Minister was killed in a terrorist attack, who would take charge of the Government? Will the Deputy Prime Minister confirm that it would not be him, as he leads a party that has less support than the UK Independence party?”
He asked the Defence Secretary it on the 19th: “If there was a terrorist attack on this country and the Prime Minister was killed, what would be the Secretary of State’s role in co-ordinating a military response and who would be in charge of the country? Would it be the Deputy Prime Minister?”
And he asked Sir George Young it on the 15th: “Can we have a statement from the Leader of the House next week on an important issue? The Government have refused until now to say who would take over if the Prime Minister were incapacitated, and after last week’s performance some of us would be very worried if it were the Deputy Prime Minister, in case he was in a sulk. Will the Leader of the House tell us who would take over? Would it be the Deputy Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary or perhaps Mrs Bone?”*
* Mrs Bone has become a bit of a smutty seaside postcard type joke in the Commons, e.g. in Cameron’s statement on the EU negotiations, Mr Bone said ‘I have received an important message to pass on to the Prime Minister: “The efforts of the Prime Minister on Thursday night gave me great pleasure. Yours ever, Mrs Bone.”’ It’s all become rather tedious, but the Tory boys think it’s hilarious.