Advisers advise, but do ministers decide?

The sacking of the chancellor’s special adviser, Sonia Khan, by the prime minister’s special adviser, Dominic Cummings, has turned Margaret Thatcher’s famous maxim, that “advisers advise and ministers decide”, on its head (Report , 31 August). Clearly in Boris Johnson’s Downing Street, advisers now decide without reference to ministers, as Sajid Javid was reportedly unaware that Khan’s dismissal was even planned. It took Thatcher 10 years to be “tripped up” by a minister–adviser disagreement; it has only taken Johnson five weeks.Steve GriffithsWatchet, Somerset • If Boris Johnson wants to deselect any Tory rebel MPs (Report , 2 September), surely progressive political parties should respond by allowing them to stand unopposed.Don MacdonaldLondon • I wish Boris Johnson would sort out Brexit soon, I can hardly move in my spare room without falling over boxes of tins and packets.Carolyn MartinFalmouth, Cornwall • In 1960s Uganda our neighbours had two Weimaraners with more sophisticated tastes than Simon Beeson’s border collie (Letters , 2 September). They would jump to knock off the low-hanging fruit from the avocado tree in the garden, tear off the skins and devour with evident relish.Betty ClarkeMalvern, Worcestershire
• “Second Hand September: Shoppers urged not to buy new season clothes ” (31 August) was inspiring, but missed one crucial point. Charity shops rely on our contributions to keep well stocked, which is an excellent opportunity for a good clear out.Fiona JoyBeverley, East YorkshireJoin the debate – email [email protected] • Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit

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