Monday 24 October 2016

PM prompts laughter over 'silicon George' error

Published 03/02/2016 | 13:11

The PM thought that 'Silicon Gorge' was a reference to the Chancellor
The PM thought that 'Silicon Gorge' was a reference to the Chancellor

David Cameron prompted howls of laughter during PMQs after joking that he thought a Tory MP had asked him a question about "silicon George".

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David Warburton asked the Prime Minister to continue to support Somerset's so-called "Silicon Gorge".

But much to the delight of his Conservative colleagues the PM, told the House he thought for a second the MP for Somerton and Frome had referred to Chancellor George Osborne.

Mr Warburton said: "You will of course know that the West Country is becoming ever more the envy and the engine room of the rest of the country with dozens of companies moving from the dark recesses of London to the bright sunlight of the west.

"Will you keep supporting what they are now calling Somerset's 'Silicon Gorge' by maintaining investment in our roads, in our rail and of course in our digital infrastructure?"

Mr Cameron jokingly replied: "I'm certainly keen to support 'Silicon Gorge'.

"I thought you'd said 'Silicon George' for a moment - I was a bit worried about that.

"I think it is absolutely essential we have a balanced economy and that means a strong economy in the west of our country as well as in the south, as well as in the north.

"We are investing in the vital transport infrastructure, not least the vital roads to the West Country and improving rail links as well, as I saw for myself yesterday in Chippenham.

"But we also need to make sure that this broadband rollout is really effective across the country and that has got to be a big focus - getting to those last 10% of homes in so many rural areas is going to be absolutely crucial to make sure they are not left out."

Mr Cameron visited the West Country on Tuesday to detail his EU renegotiation deal.

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