Wish you weren't here? PM foregoes UK holiday for fortnight in the sun

  • @oliver_wright

David Cameron is abandoning the political "hair-shirt" British summer holiday – by flying off for a fortnight in the sun with his family at the end of next week.

In a change from last year's "austerity" holiday in Cornwall, Mr Cameron and his family are thought to be heading for the Mediterranean.

In 2008, while leader of the opposition, Mr Cameron famously allowed himself to be photographed throwing a Frisbee while on holiday in Cornwall. He said he was "leading by example" by taking his family to Cornwall to introduce his children "to some of the spots I spent my childhood at".

That image was somewhat tarnished after The Independent later revealed he had followed up his Cornish jaunt with another "secret" holiday in Turkey. During that trip he attended a dinner party on Rupert Murdoch's yacht. It is safe to say he will not be accepting such hospitality this year.

Last year, his holiday in Cornwall made the news for better reasons after his fourth child, Florence, was born while Mr Cameron and his wife, Samantha, were staying there. Florence was given the middle name Endellion, after the Cornish village of St Endellion.

But the Prime Minister has never been all that keen on UK holidays – he was hoping to spend Christmas in Thailand with his family until political turmoil there forced him to cancel.

He also doesn't have to compete any longer with Gordon Brown, in many ways, the creator of the "staycation".

Mr Brown was once pictured looking uncomfortable in a sports jacket on holiday in Norfolk – while during his final year in power he spent a week of his holiday doing "community work" in his Kirkcaldy constituency.

Part of that was natural inclination – but it also provided a useful visual contrast with Tony Blair, whose holidays at Cliff Richard's Caribbean retreat and other exotic locations became the subject of press mockery.

Last night Downing Street refused to comment on the location of the Camerons' holiday this year, but another Government source said it was certain to be out of Britain. He may spend some time in the country away from Downing Street at the start of September.

However, there is at least one leading British politician who intends to keep the holiday home fires burning. Ed Miliband is staying at a friend's house in Devon for two weeks. Hair-shirt Britain may not be quite dead yet.