“For Boris Johnson, this year’s gathering should be a victory lap. It is the first time the Conservative Party has met in person since he won a handsome majority, got Brexit done and vaccinated the UK out of the grip of rolling lockdowns. Though in the aftermath of a reshuffle in which the prime minister ruthlessly exercised his authority and a Labour conference that ruthlessly exposed Keir Starmer’s lack of authority, Manchester may feel more like the start of the long campaign for the next election than the afterparty for the last.
“But the new-look Cabinet cannot afford to be complacent. Not only does politics have a habit of not going to plan, as the last week of fuel shortages and panic buying reminds us, but there are several looming policy battles that could quickly trip the government up if it does not take care. The most urgent are: introducing planning reforms to build more homes, pursuing devolution to level up regional growth, and implementing the changes necessary to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Here is how ministers can steer them through the thicket of party conference and the spending review three weeks later.”
You can read the full column here.