'No place in bunker' for MP's wife
Published 17/01/2012 | 16:13
The wife of a Tory MP committed to establishing the order of succession in the event of the Prime Minister being killed may not get a "place in the bunker", the Foreign Secretary has said.
Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough, asked William Hague to confirm if he would take over running the country in the event of David Cameron being killed in a terrorist attack.
Mr Bone has previously questioned other Government ministers on the subject, insisting Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg should not be first in line.
Mrs Bone has also been highlighted by the Wellingborough MP on a number of occasions as he asks questions on behalf of his wife in the House of Commons.
Last June Mr Cameron joked that "a very big part of my life is trying to give pleasure" to Mrs Bone.
And speaking at Foreign Office questions in the Commons, Mr Bone said: "Is it true that under Government contingency plans, if the Prime Minister was killed during a terrorist attack, it would be you who took charge of the Government until the Queen could choose a new prime minister?"
Mr Hague replied: "I can assure you continuity of Government plans are in place to deal with any catastrophic destabilising incident. I know you have asked the same question of the Defence Secretary.
"We don't consider it is appropriate to talk about these plans in public. I can assure you arrangements are in place for any such contingency. I cannot guarantee there will be a place in the bunker for Mrs Bone, I'm afraid."
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme last month, Lord Prescott - who served as deputy prime minister to Tony Blair - said convention dictates the First Secretary of State would take over in the event of the Prime Minister's death.
The role is currently held by Mr Hague. Under Gordon Brown it was Lord Mandelson, while Lord Prescott combined the post with deputy prime minister under Mr Blair.