The MP for Uxbridge has defended himself after falling asleep during a key speech in the Commons - and says the recession is giving him sleepless nights.
John Randall, Conservative MP for Uxbridge, also owns Randalls department store in Vine Street, Uxbridge, and admits the pressures of trying to maintain a business are taking their toll.
Mr Randall was accused by Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Yvette Cooper, of sleeping through Shadow Chancellor George Osborne's speech on the economy last Wednesday.
In response he told her: "Perhaps you don't appreciate what it's like to run a business. I have got a retail business with 30 employees.
"Sometimes when I see a government that is so complacent and so useless I do lay awake. It's difficult to sleep at night, because I have got 30 people's jobs that I have got to worry about. "
When pressed by the Gazette, Mr Randall insisted the credit crunch was hitting his furniture store just like everywhere else, and he was particularly displeased about being attacked for dozing off.
He said: "The Minister was wrong. People nod off all the time in the Commons, but she broke an unwritten rule of 'don't refer to it'.
"Business is tough for everybody at the moment, lots of business are coming to me that have great problems.
"There aren't many family businesses left in Uxbridge and that's why I keep bashing away with it.
"Running a business keeps my feet on the ground to see what people have to go through. My members of staff have mortgages to pay off just like everybody else, we have avoided redundancies, but times are worrying."