02/24/2011 05:23 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Nick Clegg, U.K. Deputy Prime Minister, 'Forgot' He Was Running The Country In David Cameron's Absence

U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has become the subject of global ridicule after telling an interviewer he had "forgotten" he was in charge of the country while David Cameron continues a Middle East tour.

As Reuters is reporting, Clegg was asked by the free Metro newspaper whether he was in charge in the prime minister's absence. "Yeah, I suppose I am," he replied. "I forgot about that." He went on to note, "I'm holding the fort but I'm hoping to take the end of the week off with my kids. Someone else will have to do it then. It sounds more haphazard than it probably is. People forget there are emails and there is BlackBerry."

Needless to say, many of Clegg's opponents have been quick to slam his remarks. "Nick Clegg is clueless," said Michael Dugher, a Labour MP who worked in Downing Street with former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, is quoted by Sky News as saying. "He doesn't even know if he's supposed to be minding the store or not. If you're stranded in Libya, knowing Nick Clegg has got his Blackberry switched on isn't the most reassuring thing."

Speaking in Oman on the final leg of his tour, Cameron quickly came to his deputy's defense. According to Sky News, the prime minister dismissed Clegg's remark as "throwaway" before adding, "I'm not absent. Just because I leave the country doesn't mean I'm not in charge."

But Clegg hasn't had the last laugh just yet, as the Belfast Times is reporting he will be the subject of a new hip-hop musical set to debut at a theater festival later this year. The show, which has the working title Nicked, will reportedly depict "the rise of fall of Nick Clegg," and is also said to feature Cameron engaging in a "rap off" number.