When Rishi Sunak spoke to cabinet this week the prime minister sought to depict himself as a calm technocrat focused on delivery in the face of what threatens to be a new winter of discontent in Britain. “People are going to judge us on competence, whether it’s strikes or NHS pressures or immigration,” he told ministers.

Yet if the prime minister is sometimes seen as proof that the geeks will inherit the earth, Downing Street is now plotting a series of announcements to show the public that he is actually much tougher than they think on key issues.

And with the autumn statement out of the way, which was seen as un-Conservative by some of his MPs for raising taxes, Sunak is set to launch



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