Absolute power – Boris Johnson's control-freak premiership: inside Guardian Weekly

Will Dean
Photograph: GNM

Never let it be said that a man whose childhood ambition was to be “world king” doesn’t have a thirst for power … Along with his close adviser Dominic Cummings, UK prime minister Boris Johnson conducted a reshuffle last week aimed at removing any critics from the cabinet table. One man who was supposed to stay in place was the chancellor, Sajid Javid. But when asked to fire his team of advisers in order to stay in place, Javid instead fell on his sword, with the seemingly more pliant Rishi Sunak appointed in his stead. This move gives No 10 more heft than it has had in decades – will the power play pay off?

English football champions Manchester City were last week handed a €30m ($32m) fine and a two-year ban and from the world’s premier club competition, the Uefa Champions League. The club were handed the punishment by Uefa for misleading European football’s governing body over how their sponsorships were funded and for breaking financial fair play rules. The ruling’s severity, writes Jonathan Wilson, could redraw the sport’s landscape.

Seemingly untethered by congressional oversight, Donald Trump’s reaction to being acquitted by the US Senate in his impeachment trial has been to immediately push his luck. Trump’s interference in the sentencing of his associated Roger Stone has lit a fuse in the US justice department, whose leader, attorney general William Barr, is also at the centre of the controversy. If the president is allowed to interfere so directly in criminal cases then the entire US justice system may be facing a crisis of credibility, warn experts in Ed Pilkington’s report. In opinion, Robert Reich goes further, suggesting that with his latest behaviour, Trump has out-Nixoned Richard Nixon.

Jonathan Freedland has been in New Hampshire covering the first Democratic primary vote – won last week by Bernie Sanders. This week he looks at comparisons being drawn in the US media – and among some voters – between the Vermont senator and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour party. After Labour’s disastrous showing in December’s general election, it’s a comparison that is worrying some but despite many personal similarities, there is a gulf between the two figures, writes Freedland.

We also feature a fascinating report by transport correspondent Gwyn Topham on London’s traffic conundrum. Why are the city’s streets still so busy when there are so few private cars? Laura Barton interviews Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, the stars of hilarious travel comedy The Trip as they head off to Greece and Kim Willsher interviews the novelist Leïla Slimani about her role as an influential voice of the new France.

Subscribe here