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Boris Johnson's back to-work inbox is piled high with problems, and Covid's just the start

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27.08.2021

When MPs headed home for the summer recess, the hope in Downing Street was that after a year of politics dominated by Covid-19 it would offer an opportunity for rest, ahead of a busy term in which Boris Johnson would finally return to his election agenda. Instead, the Prime Minister once again learned that even the best-laid plans can be thrown off course by events.

The humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan means MPs have spent the past fortnight trying to get constituents or family members of constituents out of that country while ministers – including Mr Johnson – have had to call off holidays to work around the clock. As the last UK evacuation flights take off this weekend, the issue isn’t going anywhere.

When MPs return to the Commons chamber next month, Johnson will face further questions over his Government’s handling of the crisis and how he plans to deal with the new Taliban regime and its consequences.

It means that many of No 10’s original plans for September are now up in the air or facing delay. Talk of a speech from the Prime Minister in the coming weeks is cooling – instead, the focus could just move to his leader’s speech at the Conservative party conference in October.

But there are plenty of decisions that can’t be delayed. As Chancellor Rishi Sunak gets ready to use the spending review to put the UK back on a........

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