Dominic Raab fought hard, and skillfully, during last month’s reshuffle for the title of Deputy Prime Minister. So it would make sense for Boris Johnson to hand over his duties to Raab while he is holidaying at Lord Goldsmith’s Marbella villa, right?
Well, Number 10 has confirmed that Raab is not allowed to run the country when Johnson is on leave. Hearing this, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Bridget Phillipson accused the government of putting its “out of office on” during a crisis.
Why hasn’t Raab been allowed to take charge when his boss is temporarily absent? Last year, as First Secretary of State, Raab had “all the authority” he needed to make key decisions, as he deputised for Johnson while he was in hospital with coronavirus.
But a Downing Street spokesperson said the PM is “being kept regularly updated with the ongoing work to address current issues around fuel supply chains“, and is in constant communication with the cabinet and foreign leaders.
The Prime Minister seems to be proving to Raab that it’s possible to answer a phone call or two even when “lounging about” in the sun abroad.
Raab has also been embroiled in a row with Liz Truss over the use of Chevening, the house traditionally reserved for the use of the Foreign Secretary. Raab was reluctant to let go of the property when he was demoted to Deputy PM, but Truss was pictured on Monday showing the house off to visitors from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.