Inside Politics: Aides insist Boris Johnson is ‘OK’ as briefing war breaks out with Sunak’s Treasury

Treasury sources said to be increasingly concerned about PM’s tendency to overpromise and underdeliver, writes Matt Mathers

Wednesday 24 November 2021 12:03
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<p>Johnson and Sunak visit  a London brewery following the chancellor’s October Budget  </p>

Johnson and Sunak visit a London brewery following the chancellor’s October Budget

The fallout from Boris Johnson’s poor handling of a series of political decisions in recent weeks continues today, with what looks like the beginnings of a briefing war breaking out between the offices of the prime minister and his No 11 Downing Street neighbour, Rishi Sunak. Sources inside the chancellor’s Treasury are said to be increasingly concerned by the PM’s tendency to overpromise and underdeliver and are calling for a shake-up of his Downing Street team, a view shared by several senior Tory MPs who are worried that Johnson’s people are unable to spot political danger in advance and whose incompetence over the Paterson scandal and poorly received rail and social care plans may have terminally damaged party discipline. At PMQs later, Johnson faces a resurgent Keir Starmer, who is buoyed by a bounce in the polls and a well-received speech to the CBI conference on Monday. Elsewhere, the PM is being urged to tighten up the government’s messaging on Covid and there are fresh concerns about his “levelling up” agenda.

Inside the bubble

Our political commentator Andrew Grice on what to look out for today:

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