Prime Minister Tony Blair has not reported for work this morning, claiming that he is in fact suffering from a nasty cough. Insiders say that he is just taking a ‘sickie' to avoid work.
Mr Blair called his boss at 9am with a distinctly muffled and strained voice and said, "Your Majesty, I don't think I'm going to make it in today, I'm not feeling great…cough. Hopefully I'll be back in tomorrow."
It is widely believed that he is faking his illness to avoid difficult work.
This week is set to be Mr Blair's toughest week since taking on the job of Prime Minister. On Tuesday, the Hutton Report is set to criticise him for persistent bad spelling and the nasty habit of casual swearing at work - offences that can merit a verbal warning.
However, the rumours around Westminster are that he may use the ancient political tactic of 48 hour flu, and avoid his enemies for another day.
"It's a great way of keeping your head down in times of trouble. He could even push to 72 hour flu, which is the absolute limit - after that, you need to get a doctor's note" said one political expert.