Rishi, where are you? Rishi had disappeared doggo. AWOL. MIA. 

After Chris Whitty effectively torpedoed the hospitality industry at Wednesday’s Downing Street press conference, Labour’s Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) today requested Dishy come to the Commons and pledge another series of eye-boggling cheques to keep businesses from going under. 

McFadden was, in fact, standing in for Shadow-Chancellor Rachel Reeves who had been recently afflicted by the terrible virus. 

She’s the third Labour frontbencher to get it this week. Omicron got MPs to drop like guardsmen in hot August afternoon. 

The Chancellor Boy Wonder, however, was not to be found. Turned out he’d hopped on a plane on Tuesday to sunny California for a series of ‘business meetings’, whatever they might be. Maybe power brunches at Elon Musk’s? 

Doubtless he will also have time to swing by his schloss in Santa Monica while he’s there. 

What with Boris’s personal ratings disappearing up the chimney, the timing of the trip seemed fortuitous. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been absent from the House of Commons and briefings while on a four-day trip to California

While on a four day trip to California, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of India has not been present in the House of Commons or briefings. 

Shades of John Major sauntering off to have a dicky wisdom tooth seen to just when Mrs Thatcher’s premiership was disappearing down the swanny. 

We were forced to accept John Glen, Economic Secretary (Con) as our economic secretary. 

Although Mr Glen is a nondescript man, he can be described as the perfect sacrificial lamb. Many outsiders don’t know what Glen is. 

An ex-management consultant, he has a fondness for wonkish accountancyspeak and that godawful phrase ‘going forward’. 

He always reminds me of the guy in science fiction movies who always gets killed first. 

Labour¿s Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) requested Mr Sunak come to the Commons and pledge another series of cheques to keep businesses from going under

Labour’s Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) requested Mr Sunak come to the Commons and pledge another series of cheques to keep businesses from going under

Old man McFadden wasn’t happy at being denied the chance to grapple with the big dog. 

A disgruntled diner who’d requested the filet mignon only to be handed a disappointing plate of off-cuts. 

Mr Glen insisted Rishi’s trip had been ‘long planned.’ 

It was, no doubt. It was, however, a wise decision to cancel due to these restrictions. 

The hospitality sector is facing further turmoil this Christmas as the Omicron strain continues to wreak havoc

Omicron’s continued havoc on the Omicron strain is causing more turmoil in the hospitality sector.

Omicron is raging and it becomes increasingly obvious that some businesses will not make it through the next months. The chamber was abuzz with requests for aid from anyone who could not keep their heads above the water. 

Poor Glen could not cope with all the chaos. He had been given little instruction from No 10 other than that it was ‘engaging’ with businesses. 

It was like watching an unclothed Christian go into battle with lions. He had only a soup spoon. 

Theresa Villiers, Con-Chipping Barnet), demanded clarifications on socialising. Go out or stay at home? Mr Glen insisted parties were on – he plans to take his constituency team for lunch next Monday.

Dave Doogan (SNP, Angus) informed the House he would ‘follow the advice’ and proudly revealed that he would not be treating his staff to any such jolly. 

This man is a grumpy. Many Tories were irritated that Professor Whitty was taking matters into his hands. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak visits a Wagamama restaurant in central London during last year's Eat Out To Help Out scheme, and after meeting staff he helped serve some customers their food

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of India visited Wagamama in central London last year during Eat Out To Help Out. After meeting the staff, he served some customers his food.

It was clear that there was suspicion among the chief medical officers. Steve Brine (Con, Winchester) said that by ordering us all to cut back on our festivities, the Chief Medical Officer had ‘at a stroke’ changed government policy and put the country ‘into effective lockdown’. 

Advisers were ‘now running the show’, he said, adding sharply: ‘I bet none of them run businesses facing complete ruin as a result of what was said last night.’ 

Whitty’s other target was Steve Baker (Con. Wycombe). 

He suggested when officials speak – ‘particularly from podiums at press conferences’ – they should stay within the bounds of the policy decided by ministers. Ouch. 

Andrew Murrison, Con, SW Wiltshire, thought that Parliament should meet next week as MPs enter Christmas recess. 

As if that’s an answer to anything. It might not be a bad idea to have our absent Chancellor change his Bermudas to get back to Westminster as soon as possible.