This question from Diane Abbott went wrong

Saturday 02 July 2016 11:00
Celebrities

As part of their role in scrutinising the government, MPs are allowed to ask ministers written questions about their work. The format is often used by shadow ministers to hold the government to account, generate a silly story or highlight global issues - and all answers are published publicly in the Hansard.

Without written questions, we would not have learned about the government's plans for the 20-foot long stuffed anaconda, Albert, kept in the Foreign Office library ("we have no plans for Albert other than to clean and stuff him from time to time") or about the Ministry of Defence's surprising number of mascot goats.

Now we have learned that Diane Abbott may need to brush up on her east Asian geography. Shortly before being promoted to Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Abbott asked International Development Secretary Justine Greening about the government's plans to help those affected by drought in the Indonesian province of Province of Davao del Norte. Just one problem...

We had a quick Google, and Davao del Norte is actually in the Philippines...

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Diane Abbott said: "The Province affected by drought was clearly named and the researcher submitting the question made an obvious error.

"It is unfortunate that despite the seriousness of the situation, DfID chose to ignore the real issue, which is the devastating impact of global warming in the Philippines and the thousands affected by this drought."

More: The Labour party is imploding. Meanwhile, Tom Watson is at Glastonbury

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