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A holiday minefield for MPs.

Byline: Robert Sutcliffe

A FIRST for the English dictionary this week - apparently when it comes to some senior politicians the code for holiday is "long-standing private engagement."

I must admit that I was initially baffled when I read this about the reason for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's 'snub' of the Queen over his signing up for Privy Council duties.

But it is a measure of how rattled his aides must be if they cannot bring themselves to utter the dreaded word 'holiday'.

This Privy Council business has got completely out of hand. David Cameron, a devoted monarchist if ever there was one, took his time, all three months of it, to get himself sworn in 10 years ago.

And according to the Daily Mail, "Nick Clegg - a closet republican - was also rather tardy. He missed so many meetings as Lord President that the Queen's private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, invited him in for a chat about his duties."

I must admit no-one has ever mentioned 'Privy Council' to me in the pub and it's hard to escape the suspicion that it is all a bit of enjoyable nonsense got up by the right wing press. But it is amazing how puritanical we can be about our political leaders taking short breaks. Poor Mr Cameron can barely close his eyes for 40 winks without complaints about him 'chillaxing.'

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 17, 2015
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