The two-car family left The Plough Inn in Buckinghamshire, mum in one car thinking daughter Nancy had gone with dad in the other and vice versa. Imagine the horror when they got to Chequers and discovered they were missing an offspring?
I know that feeling quite well, having once managed to lose my eldest son – then eight – on the Honda stand at the British Motor Show.
The fear and panic that engulfed me when I realised I was going to have to confess to my wife we were a child down was thankfully lifted when I found him happily chatting up the pretty ladies who were working the stand and had discovered him.
Naturally, social media is ablaze with comments about the faux pas, some witty, some acerbic, some just not worth worrying about and, while most of the media quoted that they were enjoying a family lunch, the Daily Mail felt the need to instead say that the Prime Minister had been enjoying “Sunday drinks”.
One friend quipped to me that he envied Cameron’s daughter being left in a pub when he’s left the rest of us in the lurch while trade journalist John Porter tweeted a comment that got my attention: this is surely an opportunity to highlight the good that has come of it.
Whilst, as an industry, we’re often depicted by the media as the harbingers of Friday night doom, The Plough Inn has to be commended for showing that pubs can be safe environments for families.
Nancy was looked after by staff – her dad apparently found her helping them when he got back to the pub just fifteen minutes later – and she was safe and well.
So while there may be reason to castigate the Camerons – or, at least, a member of their security staff – for not realising somebody was missing, let’s make damned sure that we let everybody know that, if you are going to forget your child, a pub’s as good a place as any to do it!