Downing Street quizzed over Boris Johnson's 11-day disappearance

PUBLISHED: 15:54 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:08 07 January 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at St Pancras Station, London. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at St Pancras Station, London. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

Downing Street has been asked about the status of Boris Johnson after not being seen in public for 11 days.

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Before Christmas the prime minister was seen daily on the election campaign trail and then lapping up his win.

But he has not been spotted since December 27th when he arrived in the Caribbean for his holiday on the luxury private island of Mustique.

Despite the escalating situation in the Middle East, Johnson did not reportedly arrive back at work until Monday, and he has avoided making statements to cameras or in the House of Commons since.

It was left to defence secretary Ben Wallace to give an update on the Iranian crisis at the despatch box.

He is also not expected to appear in the House of Commons for the debate on his Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

The disappearance of Johnson prompted the Mirror to ask Downing Street about his whereabouts.

His spokesman simply stated: "The prime minister leads a cabinet government and he has been in charge of the overall government response."

Asked if he was "OK", a tetchy spokesperson responded: "Come on".

A Labour source said it was a "dereliction of duty" that Johnson was not showing leadership on the issue.

In the House of Commons the Labour leader asked where he was, and said that Boris Johnson was "scared of standing up to Donald Trump".

"What is he doing that is so much more important than addressing parliament on the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani?", he asked.

Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said that the prime minister cannot keep hiding on the matter.

He said: "It is shameful that Boris Johnson is hiding behind his ministers rather than addressing the intensification of tensions between the US and Iran.

"The prime minister must stop dodging parliament and explain what he will do to de-escalate the situation and ensure the safety of British service personnel and civilians in the region.

"Boris Johnson must confirm that he will not blindly follow Donald Trump into military action against Iran. That would be the most reckless decision since the Iraq war."

It is assumed that the prime minister will return for Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.

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