And if a double-decker bus…

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.

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  • Tim Roll-Pickering  On January 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Bone should check Commonwealth precedent. It’s clear that it would be Nick Clegg until the Conservatives could elect a new leader.

    Ban Clegg from driving buses now!

  • Quietzaple  On January 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    On a District Council on which Labour representation was scant the Labour Leader was a doughty lady who battled mightily in her wonderful dialect.

    Appointed to the Committee which was to lead us in case of nuclear catastrophe she was given the job of controlling transport.

    She could not drive but questions on the matter always were answered to the effect that she Would drive the bus, if there was one.

  • Quietzaple  On January 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Most of us would like to assist the bus driver in his/her efforts in taking Clegg and any other successors of the terrible Cameron calamity to a similar fete/fate.

    Russian orthodox choral music is suitably final.

  • Ciaran Rehill  On January 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Unwise of Labour to mention human rights abuses. When I politely asked Clare Short about arms sales to Indonesia by BAe (genocide in East Timor) and Pekings illegal occupation of Tibet I had my photo taken by the goons in Special Branch. In Bristol.

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