Boris Johnson’s demise was brought about by the three Ps: Paterson, partygate and Pincher.

Rishi Sunak’s current woes can be summed up by the three Bs: bills (household bills, that is), boats and by-elections.

To be fair, this weekend the prime minister and the chancellor have been on the front foot over the first B – bills – and Jeremy Hunt’s national insurance cut.

The cut would ease the cost of living crisis for 27 million working people, Mr Sunak claimed, and leave two-income households up to £1,000 better off, said Mr Hunt.

Rishi Sunak

But on the second B – boats – it’s Mr Sunak’s own record as Boris Johnson’s chancellor on the controversial Rwanda policy that has rocked the Tory high command and emboldened rebel Tory MPs.

Leaked No 10 documents – seen by Sky News and no doubt intended to damage Mr Sunak – revealed his doubts back in 2022 about whether it would work and was value for money.

Bizarrely, as well as wanting fewer deportations of illegal migrants to Rwanda, he was said to have suggested that hotels were cheaper than other forms of accommodation.

That’s odd, because for months ministers and Tory MPs have been bitterly complaining about the high cost of keeping asylum seekers in hotels and urging cheaper options.

Cue minister-turned-rebel Robert Jenrick, who in a Sky News interview in his flood-ravaged Newark constituency served notice that he intends to lead a backbench mutiny when the Rwanda Bill returns to the Commons.

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‘Biblical’ flooding scenes in Nottinghamshire

And on the third B – by-elections – Labour wasted no time in beginning campaigning in Kingswood, near Bristol, where former energy minister and green crusader Chris Skidmore has triggered another poll.

Even though Kingswood is due to be abolished in boundary changes at the next general election, Labour is desperate to maintain its winning run in by-elections and inflict another defeat on Mr Sunak.

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MP ‘wrong to quit over new energy licences’

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Tory MP to quit over new energy bill

At least the embattled prime minister enjoyed a respite from his problems – past, present and future – when he entertained new world darts champion Luke Humphries in 10 Downing Street this weekend.

Despite the three Bs of bills, boats and by-elections, come the general election later this year Mr Sunak will be aiming high and hoping to be on target and chalk up a victory.



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