Two MPs got the chance to strengthen coalition government relations after getting locked inside a library together in the Palace of Westminster.

Liberal Democrat Tessa Munt and Conservative Therese Coffey were shut inside a House of Commons library while working late.

Their ordeal had echoes of former MP Chris Huhne's own confinement - although the former energy secretary is serving at Her Majesty's Pleasure for eight months, whereas the two MPs got out after about 20 minutes.

Coffey revealed the incident on Twitter under the #librarygate hashtag.

A tweeter responded: "Free the Westminster two!"

Munt told the BBC that the most annoying thing about her stint under lock and key was discovering that the library lights were left on overnight.

"The [House of Commons] debates stopped at about quarter to eight so I slipped into the library and at 11.45pm thought, 'It's time to go home.'

"I packed up my computer and went to the door and found it was locked. I went to the other door and that was locked too. I thought, 'Oh dear.'"

The parliamentarian for Burnham in Buckinghamshire blamed her workload for the late hours. Fellow MP Nadine Dorries, who is currently suspended by the Tory party, tweeted Coffey to ask: "Have you heard of laptops and homes?"

Munt said: "I've a lot to do. We've got masses and masses of stuff going on. I tend to use the House of Commons library because it's got lots of computers and plenty of air, also there's a printer there and it's not very far from the chamber."

Munt insisted that she and Coffey had no need to spend time building bridges between coalition parties because relations were strong already.

"I do a lot of work with Tess Goffey anyway. We spent quite a lot of time working together - but I wasn't expecting to be spending quite so long," said Munt.

"The only thing which aggravated me was that the lights were on. We should be well switching the lights off."