ASK an MP why they entered politics and most will trot out a line about wanting to improve peoples’ lives. We do not doubt that many are compelled by an urge to serve their communities, but it is also true that a lot of politicians are self-serving, power-hungry egotists.

Last week, Boris Johnson hogged headlines for proposing a road bridge linking the British mainland with France. Downing Street failed to match his enthusiasm for constructing a huge concrete structure in the middle of the world’s busiest shipping lane.

An undaunted Boris this week pestered the PM to pour more cash into the NHS. He is like an eager boy with his hand up in class while the teacher scans the room for a less boisterous child to answer the question. Theresa May was said to have slapped down the Foreign Secretary as she and other members of her team made clear, as Mr Johnson listened, that cabinet discussions should take place behind closed doors. As egos go, Boris Johnson’s is on the scale of his bridge across the Channel idea and he’ll bounce back from yesterday’s humiliation – but is he being treated unfairly?

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His motivation for the NHS cash plea may have been more about boosting his profile, wrenching the initiative from Labour or embarrassing Mrs May than helping patients, but more funding for the NHS seems an eminently sensible idea given the Government’s lack of action while patients lie stranded on trolleys and staff warn of widespread collapse.

There is a risk that Mr Johnson’s rampant egomania is strangling his ideas before they are given a fair hearing.