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Hive of inactivity: Boris Johnson under fire for approaching final weeks as PM | Boris Johnson

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For most prime ministers, the certainty that their term is coming to an end triggers a frantic last-ditch effort to finish off their political agendas as much as possible and secure a legacy. Yet Boris Johnson’s decision to spend his final months thanking Checkers supporters, throwing a wedding party and taking a vacation weeks before his Downing St stint expires is an enigmatic end to a job as enigmatic prime minister, according to one of the country’s best-known contemporary historians. .

Sir Anthony Seldon, who has written about prime ministers Blair, Brown, Cameron and May and studied the impossible job facing prime ministers, said Johnson’s approach stood in stark contrast to that of his predecessors who had the luxury of planning their last weeks.

He said Tony Blair and Theresa May, two recent prime ministers who knew their terms were coming to an end, both struggled to ensure their final weeks were not wasted. David Cameron also planned some final moves, only for his premiership to end prematurely after Andrea Leadsom dropped out of the Tory leadership race and May was crowned prime minister.

By contrast, Seldon said, Johnson’s last few weeks have been nonchalant since announcing his resignation. What happens is prime ministers are either blown away by a general election, like John Major or Gordon Brown, or a crumbling leadership election, as was the case with Cameron, Seldon said . He wanted to do all kinds of things with his last six weeks.

But when they have the time, like Theresa May, they use it to really do everything they would have done in the beginning, had they had a better sense of the timing of the architecture of a prime minister’s office. Blair also planned his departure very carefully and continued until the end. He choreographed his departure and how to maximize these last few weeks.

While all of this is nonchalant. It’s strange because the history of Prime Minister Johnson’s post is an incomplete work. The things he was keen on leveling, getting the Brexit dividend, creating a strong economy, creating a strong position for Britain in the world, being the most decisive prime minister on the environment, those things are not not complete.

Many others had a whole series of speeches they gave to end things the way they would like to end them. Maybe it will come, but the time is right for him because the country is going to be on vacation until the beginning of September, and then the interest is not going to be on him.

Theresa May in the House of Commons while she was PM
Unlike Boris Johnson, his predecessor Theresa May remained active as prime minister in her final weeks. Photograph: House of Commons/PA

Johnson was charged with missing in action last week, after it emerged he went on vacation to an undisclosed location just weeks before the end of his term as prime minister. Last month, he hosted an evening of drinks at his Checkers country retreat during the heatwave, while Cabinet Minister Kit Malthouse oversaw Cobra extreme weather meetings.

He held his wedding party the following weekend at the Cotswolds estate of leading Tory donor Lord Bamford. It is said to have included a steel band, rum punch, Abba songs and a conga. He had previously been photographed flying in a typhoon and training with Ukrainian troops. Johnson went on vacation on Wednesday.

Seldon said that unlike his predecessors who found themselves in a similar predicament, Johnson made No 10 a hive of inactivity. It would be rational behavior for someone who did the job they wanted to do, he said. He didn’t do those things. It would be rational behavior for someone extremely diligent who came with all guns blazing. He didn’t do that.

He is true to himself. Everything about him goes against expectations.

A No 10 spokesperson said: The Prime Minister has always been clear that the government should be judged on its actions in enabling the British people to regain control and leave the EU, protecting lives and livelihoods during the pandemic and to deploy our state-of-the-art vaccination. program, to lead the global response to the conflict in Ukraine.

Although he has announced his intention to step down when a new leader is in place, the Prime Minister remains focused on continuing his commitments to the public. Including ensuring families have access to the $37 billion in support for households facing rising costs due to Putin’s illegal war.

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2/ https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/aug/06/boris-johnson-under-fire-for-approach-to-final-weeks-as-pm

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