It is harder for liberal critics to impute racism, or undue severity, to a Home Secretary who herself belongs to an ethnic minority.
His capacity to win some of his severest critics round, and persuade them of his “greatness of soul”, helps explain his success.
Johnson needs a Simon Milton figure in government. The move would be controversial, to put it mildly. But who else is there?
Plus: Publishing diaries – do you keep in all the salacious details, or take some out to avoid upsetting people? Sasha Swire takes route one.