Boris Johnson may have failed in his ambition to succeed David Cameron as prime minister. But for one week only, the former London mayor is top dog in the U.K.
With the premier, Theresa May, on a walking holiday in the Swiss Alps and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond also away from the seat of government, Johnson is the highest-ranking member of the government, May’s spokesman, Greg Swift, said. That means Johnson would lead any emergency meetings required in May’s absence.
“It’s the foreign secretary this week,” Swift told reporters in London on Monday when asked who is the “senior minister” with the prime minister on vacation. “It was the chancellor last week. The PM is very much in charge and is constantly kept abreast of what’s going on.”
Johnson, who this year suggested U.S. President Barack Obama harbored a grudge against the U.K. because of his African origins, was a shock appointment as Britain’s top diplomat last month after dropping out of the race to succeed Cameron following the Brexit referendum. May emerged victorious from that contest defeating four rivals to become leader of the governing Conservative Party and form a new administration.