A post-referendum reshuffle is so widely expected that some senior Ministers, in anticipation of promotion, have stopped accepting speaking invitations from July. That degree of confidence is rarely healthy – and neither is the hubris in those Cameron loyalists who think Boris Johnson can be “contained” in a clever reshuffle.
When the PM (or Chancellor) is dishing out jobs, most MPs sit nervously by their phone, snapping at anyone who has the audacity to call when Number 10 might be trying to get through. Most MPs eventually take whatever job is offered to them, regardless of any bravado beforehand. Boris is not most MPs and he will do neither of these things. He’s too big to be ignored and has no incentive to take a job he doesn’t want – so he will either be the prince-across-the-water on the backbenches, or will force Cameron to put him into a role that helps, not hinders, his chances of becoming PM.