The prime minister fails to feature on a number of Tory flyers for the 5 May polls, but his opponents are putting him front and centre

After his ratings plunged in the wake of “partygate” and as his government faces demands to act over the cost of living, it may be a surprise to discover that Boris Johnson’s face can be found on leaflets for the forthcoming local elections. Unfortunately for the prime minister, it is not his own party’s literature that features his image.

The Observer has seen Conservative leaflets circulated in London, the Midlands and the north of England in recent weeks. None of them shows Johnson, once regarded as the Tory politician able to reach voters that no one else in his party could.

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