Permission was not necessary as my Right Hon Friend the Foreign Secretary was not absent from his Ministerial duties. He was on an official visit as part of his Ministerial role.
Arrangements during absence from London
4.9 Departments should ensure appropriate arrangements are made for Ministerial cover when Ministers are absent from London.
4.10 The Prime Minister’s prior approval should be sought for the arrangements for superintending the work of a department when the Minister in charge will be absent. Special care must be taken over the exercise of statutory powers. Ministers should seek legal advice in cases of doubt.