Theresa May is to miss her regular weekly session of Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday, in order to welcome the King and Queen of Spain to London, Downing Street has announced.
King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia are making the first state visit by a Spanish monarch to the UK since 1986, from July 12-14, and Mrs. May will join the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at an official ceremony to greet them at Horse Guards Parade.
First Secretary of State Damian Green – effectively the PM’s deputy – will take Mrs. May’s place at the Despatch Box in the Commons to answer questions from MPs for half an hour.
Mrs. May’s Labour predecessor Gordon Brown was the last premier to miss PMQs because of a state visit, sending Harriet Harman in to deputize for him while he was busy greeting South African President Jacob Zuma in 2010.
The Spanish state visit was initially scheduled for June, but was put back a month to avoid clashing with the General Election.