PM leaves everything to the last minute again as Gavin Williamson makes a bad situation worse

It’s getting to be a habit. Last week parliament was recalled to pass the EU trade agreement. This week it was recalled to allow the government’s third national lockdown to be retrospectively rubber-stamped. From this, you might imagine that the government either leaves important legislation until the last possible minute or doesn’t really have much of a clue what it will be doing from one day to the next. And you wouldn’t be wrong on either account.

A recall suggests high drama. The reality was the precise opposite. A general sense of existential ennui until the proceedings reached the conclusion that everyone knew was inevitable. But parliamentary formalities must be observed, so the day kicked off with Boris Johnson giving a statement in which he basically cut and pasted paragraphs of Monday night’s TV address along with a few from Tuesday’s Downing Street press conference.

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