Speaker John Bercow and MPs criticise 'Awol' Vince Cable
Thursday 24 May 2012
"Awol" Vince Cable was criticised by Commons Speaker John Bercow today after the Business Secretary skipped his monthly grilling from MPs.
Mr Cable was in Germany rather than at the Westminster dispatch box where ministers from his department took his place - but failed to explain why he was missing.
His absence from the chamber was condemned by Mr Bercow, who said: "Ordinarily when a Secretary of State is absent the facts of the absence are explained at the start of question time.
"I know the Secretary of State is absent because I have received a letter from him, but for the record it would be desirable to be told at the outset.
"In general terms it is highly undesirable for the Secretary of State to absent on these occasions.
"It must not become a regular practice."
Labour MPs joined the criticism with shadow business minister Ian Murray describing Mr Cable as "the awol Secretary of State".
John Spellar (Warley) was "astonished the Secretary of State hasn't turned up today", adding it was "bad form".
Business Minister Mark Prisk said Mr Cable was promoting British business in Germany, telling Mr Bercow: "We will note the admonishment you have made."
A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokeswoman said Mr Cable was visiting Germany with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, adding the trip had been "planned for months".
Mr Cable was also missing from the Commons on Monday when Mr Prisk was forced to deputise for his boss after Labour tabled an urgent question on venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft's leaked report into cutting business red tape.
Mr Cable's fellow Cabinet minister, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, missed his Commons question time last week.
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: 'These are completely fake' say singer's representatives
A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Israel to appropriate 400 hectares in West Bank for ‘state use’
Kate Upton nude pictures leak: Model's representatives 'looking into' authenticity of naked images
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...
£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...
£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...