David Cameron Forgot Daughter at Pub

British Prime Minister David Cameron accidentally left his 8-year-old daughter at a pub.

British Prime Minister David Cameron accidentally left his 8-year-old daughter at a pub.

The Sun (“PM left daughter aged 8 down pub“):

David Cameron got home from a Sunday lunch with family and friends — and discovered he had left his eight-year-old daughter in the pub.

He dashed back and found little Nancy with staff at the Plough Inn in Cadsden, Bucks.

No 10 said: “The PM and wife Samantha were distraught when they realised Nancy wasn’t with them.”

Nancy got left in the pub loo when Mr Cameron drove off after his lunch.

She wandered off to the Ladies as the PM and Samantha were arranging lifts — and they only realised she was missing once they were back home.

Downing Street said: “The PM 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 PM went down straight away to get her.”

Well, that’s mortifying. Thankfully, Samantha’s fine and this will just be an amusing if embarrassing anecdote as time goes on.

While I suppose any parent could have this lapse, it’s especially understandable in Cameron’s case. After all, he’s used to have his people take care of every detail so that he can focus on relationship building. Additionally, he and the family were traveling in different cars:

The Camerons and children Nancy, Arthur, six, and 22-month-old Florence had been having Sunday lunch with two other families at the Plough Inn near the PM’s country home Chequers. Afterwards the PM went home in a car flanked by bodyguards, thinking Nancy was with Sam and their other children in a second vehicle.

It’s worth noting that the entire separation–from the time she was left until the Camerons retrieved their daughter–was a mere 15 minutes.

FILED UNDER: Europe, Parenting, Quick Takes, World Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. PJ says:

    @James Joyner:

    While I suppose any parent could have this lapse, it’s especially understandable in Cameron’s case. After all, he’s used to have his people take care of every detail so that he can focus on relationship building.

    Cameron didn’t lose his press secretary, he lost his daughter.
    He was having dinner with friends and their families, not trying to build relationships with the President of South Korea.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    While I suppose any parent could have this lapse, it’s especially understandable in Cameron’s case. After all, he’s used to have his people take care of every detail so that he can focus on relationship building. Additionally, he and the family were traveling in different cars:

    If somehow Obama had done this, House Republicans would be calling for an “independent” investigation of this and would be asking that in the interim, Obama’s daughters be placed in the custody of Child Protective Services pending the “independent” investigation.

  3. James Joyner says:

    @PJ: Oh, no doubt. But, again, there were two cars and the rush of a security team getting them into said cars. Both parents reasonably presumed the kid was with the other and had the fallback of assuming the security detail was doing its job.

    Even with this colossal failure, they figured it out in a matter of minutes and had circled back and retrieved her within 15. It’s a big deal considering what could have happened. I’m just saying it’s not as big a deal as it’s being made out to be and that it’s even somewhat understandable given the circumstances.

  4. JKB says:

    Let’s see left your child alone in a bar. For a normal parent, that would mean entry into child protective services hell.

    So why does the PM get to live in the past when such things happened but were understood, while everyone without such prestige or connections has to deal with his nanny state enforcers?

  5. Gustopher says:

    At least he didn’t heave her on the roof of the car like a coffee cup.

    I’m pretty sure that there would be a couple of visits from Child Protective Services if this happened to an American citizen (at least a non-special one), but I doubt it would descend into hell. It’s pretty explicable, and having the state take an interest when there are potential red flags for neglect is a pretty good thing.

  6. Franklin says:

    but I doubt it would descend into hell.

    Depends on the agent and their mood that day … especially considering the power they possess.

  7. @James Joyner:

    I agree with you on this one, James. One has to assume, regardless of whether one shares Cameron’s political leanings, that he (and his wife) love their children. It’s the one thing that makes some politicians seem human — that they have the same feeling for their children that I have for my daughter and you have for your two daughters.

    Given the way the Camerons travel — the two cars, etc., etc. — I can see how it could have happened. I mean, really good and loving parents lose their children in stores and malls sometimes, and then find them again, and it doesn’t mean they’re bad parents.

    I am not a fan of David Cameron’s conservative politics, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love his children.

  8. “I’m pretty sure that there would be a couple of visits from Child Protective Services if this happened to an American citizen (at least a non-special one), …”

    No, there wouldn’t. I think that’s ridiculous. That type of thing (minus the trappings of the wealthy and powerful hoopla) probably happens every single day, in the U.S. as elsewhere. CPS does not descend on parents who have lost their children in malls after letting go of their hand and turning to look at something for a second. Now, if they leave their two-year-old in a car with the motor running while they go into a store, that’s a different thing. I mean, you have to be able to tell the difference between being an imperfect human and being an irresponsible human.

  9. JKB says:

    @Kathy Kattenburg:

    But he left his 8 yr old daughter in a bar, not at the mall. True a pub where lunch is common but still a place primarily serving alcohol. A 2-yr old in a car with a running motor is safer than an 8 yr old abandoned in a bar.

  10. @JKB:

    I disagree. It’s obviously not desirable to forget your child behind in an eating establishment that serves drinks, but leaving a small child in a car with the motor running is far more dangerous. Anyone could just jump in and take off, in an instant. It would be a lot harder to grab a child and get out of a crowded pub. In addition, that pub Cameron brought his family to was a much more preselected population than the open street where anyone can come up and jump into an unlocked car with the key in the ignition.

    And one MORE difference: You cannot possibly leave a two-year-old, or any age child, in an unlocked car with the engine running, by accident. You have to do it deliberately. That doesn’t mean you have malicious intent to put your child in danger, but it’s a conscious act to leave a child in a running car. That is a very different scenario from thinking your child is with another authorized caretaker in the kind of situation Cameron was in, with two cars, a full security detail, and both parents present.

    There’s just no reasonable comparison to be made between the two situations.