It is outrageous that Gordon Brown has ducked out of PMQs today because of the South African state visit. No disrespect to the South African President, but he's not exactly in the top ten world leaders is he? And the fact is that Brown has other meetings scheduled with him during the visit, I believe.
I don't know if anyone has done any analysis of this, but I reckon the number of Brown PMQ duckouts is proportionately far higher than it ever was under Blair, Major or Thatcher. It was rare indeed for Mrs T to miss a PMQs and she had double the number to do. Brown seems to use every excuse to do so. I wonder why that would be.
UPDATE: I am told Brown has missed 8 PMQs in two and a half years, giving him an attendance record of 88%. I'm trying to get the figures for his predecessors.
UPDATE: 5 Live have just reported that Brown has missed twice as many PMQs as Blair did over the same period.