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Johnson and Javid: the unprecedented perils of chucking away a chancellor

A power-hungry prime minister removes yet another check on his rule. It is theatre worthy of Trump. But the history books suggest he could soon pay a price

By Tom Clark  

Sajid Javid pictured on 12th February. Photo: WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/PA Images

The prime minister, in the old phrase, is First Among Equals. But since Britain stopped being a serious, independent force on the world stage—since, say, the 1956 Suez crisis—there has never been any question about which cabinet minister is Second Among Equals.

Deputy prime ministers could come and go, the very role invented or dis-invented by the top dog, as the management of political egos required. But in a perennially cash-strapped country, there is always one serious potential counter-balance…

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