It is unclear whether Nick Clegg would become acting PM if David Cameron was incapacitated, Commons Leader Sir George Young said
It is unclear whether Nick Clegg would become acting Prime Minister if David Cameron was incapacitated, Commons Leader Sir George Young said.
Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, asked the Government to clarify the situation after Mr Clegg "fudged the issue" in a written reply.
Sir George replied: "I'm anxious that you should not be losing any sleep over this issue. I think on reflection, I would not like to give an off-the-cuff answer to you and I would like to reflect on it.
"But it is a matter for the Prime Minister to decide what should happen if the circumstances arose where he could no longer perform his duties."
His remarks came during Commons exchanges on upcoming business, after Mr Bone asked: "If the Prime Minister has been incapacitated, who is in charge?
"Because I had a written reply from the Deputy Prime Minister and he fudged the issue and it wasn't clear whether he would become acting Prime Minister."
Mr Clegg landed himself in hot water last week when he told Metro newspaper he "forgot" he was running the country while Mr Cameron was visiting the Middle East.
Asked if he was in charge of the nation, Mr Clegg said: "Yeah, I suppose I am. I forgot about that. I'm holding the fort but I'm hoping to take the end of the week off with my kids. Someone else will have to do it then. It sounds more haphazard than it probably is."
At the time, the Government was facing heavy criticism over its response to the evacuation of British nationals desperate to escape the chaos engulfing Libya.
Shadow Commons leader Hilary Benn asked Sir George: "What is the point in the Deputy Prime Minister being in charge if, first of all, he doesn't know that he is and, secondly, if neither he nor the Prime Minister could manage the simple task of convening a timely meeting of Cobra when British citizens were at risk?"