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By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
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Minister Says Boris Johnson “Needs A Break” As He Defends Spain Holiday

3 min read

A minister has defended Boris Johnson's decision to go on holiday to Marbella as his government deals with several crises, insisting that it's important for "the whole country" that the Prime Minister has a break.

With Parliament in recess until next Monday, Johnson reportedly flew to the south of Spain with wife Carrie and son Wilfred following Conservative party conference in Manchester last week.

Labour has accused the Prime Minister of shirking his responsibility to lead at a time when the country faces major challenges like soaring gas prices, ongoing food shortages, and warnings of rising inflation. 

Johnson's holiday also comes in the week that the government's removal of the £20 Universal Credit uplift comes into effect, with warnings that millions of families face a cost of living crisis.

But Security Minister Damian Hinds has defended the timing of the holiday, telling Sky News: "The Prime Minister never stops being in charge of government."

He told host Kay Burley: "The Prime Minister is the Prime Minister and when you're Prime Minister you never stop being in charge, in touch and a phone call away, these days a text message away or whatever."

The Conservative MP for East Hampshire insisted that it's "important" for people to have a break, "even more so in a highly-pressurised job like the Prime Minister's".

Hinds dismissed criticism of the timing of Johnson's holiday, with multiple UK crises still unresolved. 

"When is the right time?" he asked. 

"It is important that people have the opportunity to be with their families and to relax and unwind.

"I wouldn't want to overstate the amount of unwinding and relaxing you get to do as Prime Minister because you're constantly in touch and being briefed and you remain in charge of the government.

"It's important for the rest of us — the whole country — that the Prime Minister does get to have some family time and a break."

Kwasi Kwarteng, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on Sunday said the Prime Minister's decision to go to Marbella was "reasonable".

"He's also had a year-and-a-half in which he's almost lost his life to COVID, his mother passed away very sadly two or three weeks ago and he may have decided to take a short break," he told Times Radio.

"I'm in regular WhatsApp contact with him, I spoke to him only a few days ago. I'm not sure when he's supposed to have left the country."

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