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IF Operation Save Big Dog is to be a success much will depend, over the course of the next few months, on the performance of the Conservative Party’s oldest friend: the Union Jack. Liz Truss, the UK Foreign Secretary has already been waving the flag on behalf of her embattled boss. Her performance on BBC Breakfast this morning was a rehearsal for a narrative which will dominate UK culture and politics.

Ms Truss, as she must have expected, was repeatedly asked about the implications of Sue Gray’s ‘partygate’ report for Boris Johnson. Most of her replies featured Ukraine and Britain’s role as the world’s guardians of democracy and western values. Sally Nugent, the BBC presenter, asked her: "You were recently pictured, that famous photo opportunity, you're pictured in a tank on a foreign trip. Were you aware when that photograph was taken? Had you thought through how politically charged that image might be?

"It’s very, very similar to a picture of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in a similar situation? Had you thought through what that image might mean?"

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