The news that David Cameron accidentally left his eight-year old daughter in a pub, coinciding as it does with the re-launch of the government’s “troubled families” programme, has provoked much amusement this morning.
The mix-up apparently occurred after Cameron’s daughter, Nancy, wandered off to the toilets while he and Samantha were arranging lifts. Both then wrongly assumed that she was with the other parent (Cameron travelled home separately with his bodyguards) and only realised their mistake when they returned to Chequers. Cameron then rushed back to the Plough Inn in Cadsden, Buckinghamshire, where he found his daughter with staff. She was away from her parents for around 15 minutes.
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.
“The prime minister went down straight away to get her.”
The reaction from some will be one of incredulity (how did Cameron’s security detail not notice?) but I suspect most parents will feel great sympathy for the Camerons. The terror of misplacing a child (well-described in the opening of Ian McEwan’s The Child in Time), even briefly, is one that those who have experienced it will never forget.