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Boris Johnson bolsters power at home

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19.02.2020

By Andrew Hammond

Boris Johnson has postponed his planned trip to see Donald Trump next week in the midst of U.K.-U.S. policy spats, from Huawei to digital taxes. With Johnson fighting on several foreign fronts, including Brexit, he is therefore consolidating his power at home after December's landmark election.

Indeed, the last week, which saw several big domestic policy announcements, has been the most important in U.K. politics since mid-December's Conservative victory. And Johnson may now enjoy greater power today as prime minister than any of his predecessors since at least Margaret Thatcher, with his ambitions to be in Downing Street for much of the 2020s.

With the largest Tory majority in the House of Commons since Thatcher in the late 1980s, Johnson is likely to now be at the height of his powers. Unlike Tony Blair, for instance, there is no obvious big counterweight to him in government like a Gordon Brown figure so he dominates the political scene, for the immediate future at least.

The latest step in Johnson's consolidation of power came at the end of last week when he dealt a major ministerial reshuffle. This was billed as promoting the next generation of talent. However, it is no coincidence that cabinet ministers sacked, including Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom and Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith, tended to the........

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