The sheer amount of paperwork is one of the defining aspects of the British premiership. Margaret Thatcher famously survived on only a few hours’ sleep so that she could work her way through piles of briefing notes, letters and memos requiring decisions. It is incessant. In the red boxes from officials might be an intelligence paper on the jihadist situation in sub-Saharan Africa, followed by information about a looming revolt on planning regulations, or anything else that the PM needs to know.
Anyone seeking the role knows this. Mastering this stuff is a prerequisite to being on top of the detail and deemed up to the job. But even his supporters acknowledge that this type of basic work has never really been Boris Johnson’s thing.