Concerns are growing for the safety of newly elected Prime Minister John Key who has been missing from Parliament for three days and is set to spend his third night in the open. With a cold snap coming in, officials have called off the search this evening and it will resume tomorrow morning. Senior National MP’s admit they still have no clue as to their leader’s whereabouts.
Security guards have discovered a hastily dug hole beneath a security fence near the Beehive and a $400 Turnbull and Asser tie tangled in the bushes close-by, indicating that Key is no longer on parliament grounds.
Finance Minister Bill English has accepted responsibility for his leader’s absence.
‘I usually let John sleep at the foot of the bed,’ a visibly distraught English told reporters at an afternoon press conference. ‘But lately he’s been whining and scratching at the door every ten minutes so last night I made him sleep in the laundry. We were up late reading Pacific Forum briefings so it was only for a few hours.’ ‘
But when English woke at 6 AM and went to feed Key the Prime Minister was gone. English alerted the Diplomatic Protection Squad who have spent much of the last three days searching the streets around Parliament, calling Key’s name and shaking a tin of the Purina Glossy Coat biscuits the Prime Minister is known to favour.
Cabinet staff have assisted in the search, some have re-tasked a satillite to scan the Wellington streets while others glue crayon drawings of the Prime Minister up on area lamp-posts. Many of those involved in the search reject the suggestion that English is to blame, claiming that it is in Key’s nature to wander.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Simon Murdoch also faults himself for Key’s disappearance. In a statement released to media Murdoch described a recent incident in which Key interupted a roundtable discussion with Canadian trade delegates to clean his gentials.
‘I made my displeasure known to the Prime Minister just as I did when Ms Clark engaged in that sort of behaviour,’ Murdoch said. ‘I was very harsh and that seemed appropriate at the time. But now I’d take it all back just to have him trot into my office and rest his head on my knee.’
‘Maybe he knew he was getting wormed tomorrow,’ suggested Health Minister Tony Ryall. ‘We kept it secret but the sneaky little bugger has a sixth sense about these things.’
This is the second time in two months that the Prime Minister has gone missing; a spokesperson for Key theorised that Wellington’s high winds cause him to become agitated and afraid. Witnesses have also sighted the Harvard educated millionaire chasing cars, birds and other politicians; Dr Stephen Levine, a political scientist at Victoria University suggests that Key may have followed an animal or rival MP and then been unable to find his way back to the Beehive.
Thordon residents have been advised to check their toolsheds or under their house for the missing head of state. Key is skittish but good natured and is not dangerous to approach.
Speaker Lockwood Smith has speculated that the Prime Minister is safe and well. ‘He’s probably just charmed some old lady into giving him a place to sleep and three meals a day. He’ll be living it up.’
‘It won’t last though,’ Smith predicted. ‘He’ll wake up one morning and decide to reshuffle the cabinet or sack the CEO of Corrections and show up back here smiling and happy with his tongue hanging out all covered in grass stains. You’ll see.’