Boris Johnson is hoping that his MPs have calmed down over the Christmas break and that this term will be slightly less turbulent than the autumn. There is not, though, much evidence that this will be the case. Worries about the cost of living, ongoing Covid problems and the unwinding of various Tory party rows will mean that Johnson needs to be on top form to tackle this spring. There is not yet much evidence of that, either.
There is a consensus among Tory MPs that the Downing Street operation needs to change. There seems to be little love lost for his chief of staff Dan Rosenfield, who backbenchers complain doesn’t understand the party – or indeed how ministerial egos work. Others point to a comms operation whose approach, in their view, led to the leaking of the incendiary video about the Downing Street Christmas party: if Johnson’s spokespeople had been honest from the start about the allegations when they were published in the Mirror, then the row wouldn’t have built to such an extent.