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Mr Johnson is back in self-isolation after coming into contact with Conservative MP Lee Anderson, who reportedly spent 35 minutes in a meeting with the Prime Minister before “losing his sense of taste” the following day. It is the second time the former London mayor’s bid to get the country back on track has succumbed to the coronavirus, after he was hospitalised earlier this year when he contracted COVID-19. But Mr Johnson vowed to continue working and is set to unleash a number of “critical announcements” this week as he outlines his “ambitions for the United Kingdom”.
The timing of Mr Johnson’s latest period of self-isolation comes, however, at a time when the Prime Minister was expected to kick on with his Government’s plans following a difficult week inside No 10.
Two of his senior staff, including his trusted adviser Dominic Cummings, both exited Downing Street, after months of controversy surrounding their employment.
Yet, Mr Johnson’s tightening up of his closest allies is unsurprising to those who know him best, including his sister Rachel Johnson – who outlined how ambitious his sibling was even from a young age.
She told the Telegraph’s YouTube channel last year: “When he was about four years old he was asked by a family friend what he wanted to be.
“And he said world King.”
Despite his apparent desire to become a leader, Ms Johnson wasn’t sure if he would have gone on to become Prime Minister had she not arrived in the family fold.
She argued in Rake’s Progress: My Political Midlife Crisis that if she wasn’t born Mr Johnson “would never have needed to assert his male superiority over me, my siblings, his party – and the rest of the country”.
The 55-year-old added: “If I hadn’t been born, he would probably not be Prime Minister.”
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Ms Johnson also claimed that her brother wanted to be “hailed as the next Churchill” and would see an “abbreviated tenure in Downing Street as a bad outcome”.
And it appears Mr Johnson’s latest moves in wielding the Downing Street axe have been made to protect his longevity as Prime Minister.
For months some Conservative MPs have demanded his influential adviser Mr Cummings be removed from his role after he made a series of gaffes, including most prominently when he seemingly broke Government measures surrounding coronavirus.
The Vote Leave strategist, who helped mastermind Mr Johnson’s election win last year, drove over 200 miles back to his family’s home in Durham despite having coronavirus, which was against the Government’s guidance to stay at home.
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Mr Cummings will leave the Government by mid-December, and the announcement came after his trusted ally Lee Cain left his role as director of communications, leading many to think he would follow his friend in standing down.
The row erupted after it had previously been reported Mr Cain was in line for a promotion, but anger in Downing Street regarding the appointment saw the former Daily Mirror reporter resign.
Should Mr Cummings leave by the end of 2020, it would be at a time when the UK’s Brexit transition with the EU ends, with talks about a trade deal between the two sides still raging on.
The move was welcomed by those inside Labour, and the Conservative Party themselves.
One MP claimed the decision was “a game-changing moment” for Mr Johnson and his party.
They added: “I’ve no doubt most MPs will breathe a sigh of relief and the two going will see a short of vigour into the Tory backbenches, who will be fully behind the PM.”
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