Boris Johnson begins summer holiday – but Downing Street insists PM is still in charge

Boris Johnson is to begin a summer holiday on Wednesday with his premiership set to end in less than five weeks’ time

Published

Downing Street would not give details of where the Prime Minister would be spending his time off from Wednesday until the end of the week.

But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Mr Johnson will remain in charge of the country, receiving updates as required.

The current Conservative Party leader will not have long left in office upon his return, with Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss vying to replace him in No 10 by early September.

Asked who would be in charge while Mr Johnson was away, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It will be the standard pattern.

“The Prime Minister will be updated as required… the Deputy Prime Minister and, as ever with a Cabinet government, other ministers will be on hand to support as needed.”

Boris Johnson will start his holiday on Wednesday
Boris Johnson will start his holiday on Wednesday
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are battling it out to take over in No 10
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are battling it out to take over in No 10

Some of Mr Johnson’s previous trips have proved controversial.

The Prime Minister was reported to have been on holiday in Somerset while the Taliban was advancing on Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, last summer.

A few weeks later he came under scrutiny again when he left Downing Street for a four-day trip with his family as Brits and Afghans remained stranded after the withdrawal of forces from Kabul.

At the time, No 10 declined to describe the trip as a holiday, and insisted he was “continuing to work”.

And a Spanish holiday in a villa owned by the family of minister Lord Goldsmith, also in 2021, drew criticism over transparency.

Labour criticised Mr Johnson for declaring a free holiday at the villa on the list of ministers’ interests but not on the parliamentary register which could require the publication of more details such as the value of the stay.

It comes amid an expected delay in the Tory leadership race.

Party bosses have postponed sending out ballots on the advice of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, the Telegraph reported.

There was no specific threat from a hostile state and the concerns were instead raised over the vulnerability of the voting process, the report states.

Under the party’s original system members would be able to vote but change their decision while the ballot remained open, but now a unique code will reportedly be provided which will only allow one, unchangeable, vote.

The ballots had been due to be sent out from Monday, but could now arrive as late as Thursday August 11.