David Cameron ‘distraught’ at realising he left his daughter in a pub
DAVID Cameron and his wife Samantha were “distraught” when they realised they had left their eight-year-old daughter in a pub, Downing Street said yesterday.
• PM only discovered child was missing after returning with his wife to Chequers
• Daughter Nancy left in pub after confusion over which car she was travelling in
Following Sunday lunchtime drinks with friends at the Plough Inn in Cadsden, Buckinghamshire, the Camerons left without realising Nancy was missing.
She had wandered off to the toilets while they were arranging lifts and they only spotted that she was not with them when they got home.
A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister last night attempted to play down an incident saying: “These things happen.”
But to the public, the jury was out over whether the Camerons deserved to be criticised for leaving their daughter in the pub for 15 minutes.
After realising their mistake and calling the pub, Mrs Cameron rushed back, to find her daughter with staff.
Reports quoted a Plough insider as saying: “You’d have thought someone would have done a headcount or something.
“It’s frightening the Prime Minister of Britain can forget something so important as his own daughter.”
Yesterday some of those posting messages on parenting websites and social networking sites criticised Mr Cameron’s mistake.
Gaenor Williams wrote on website parentdish.co.uk: “God help anyone else if they had left their daughter in the pub, Social Services would have been involved, the parents would have been condemned as unfit.
“They only have three children – not that difficult to look after. And we trust this man to run the country when he can’t look after his own children.”
And a poster on Mumsnet said: “Am I the only person who actually checks to see that all of my children are with me when we leave somewhere? It wouldn’t occur to me to get in the car and drive off without knowing exactly where all my children were.”
However, other parents told of their own similar scenarios, and sympathised with the Camerons. And Judy Reith, a parenting coach from Parenting People, said Mr Cameron did not deserve to be vilified.
She said: “I understand how these things happen, because parents are human beings, they are not perfect robots.
“These things even happen to someone like David Cameron with his security guards in tow.
“David and Samantha Cameron did what almost any loving parents would do – they were distraught, they rang the pub immediately and within 15 minutes it was all sorted. I would be more concerned if they had just said it was no big deal.”
Plough landlord Steve Hollings also defended Mr Cameron.
He said: “What do you want me to say? That he’s a neglecting father? Well, he’s not. He’s a great father and genuine family man and a genuine guy.”
The Camerons were at the Plough Inn, near the Prime Minister’s country retreat, Chequers, with Nancy and their other children Arthur, six, and 22-month-old Florence, as well as two other families a couple of months ago.
When Mr Cameron left, he went home in one car with his bodyguards and thought Nancy was with his wife and their other children in another car. Mrs Cameron had assumed Nancy was with her father.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister and Samantha were distraught when they realised Nancy wasn’t with them. Thankfully when they phoned the pub she was there safe and well.”
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