Boris Johnson is a recently elected prime minister with an 80-strong majority who also happens to be on the verge of carrying out a major reshuffle.

And when it comes to wielding power over your MPs in Westminster, a PM’s position doesn’t get much stronger than that.

Existing ministers know this well, as do those MPs who aspire to climb the ladder.

Such people are therefore currently engaged in a prolonged act of persuasion as they try to prove their worth.

And there are ways to impress. Julian Smith has recently been seen to distinguish himself as Northern Ireland secretary after playing his part in finally getting Stormont up and running again.

But there are, of course, ways to depress your chances as well.


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