Debenhams’ 25,000 staff can rest easy: if the retailer gets into trouble again this year, having already undergone one insolvency procedure, Boris Johnson will surely step in to defer its VAT payments and provide an emergency loan.

I am being only slightly flippant. The government’s hurried bailout of Flybe last week, politically expedient given the regional airline’s key role connecting cities in the southwest and the north, raises more questions than answers. Why did ministers decide Flybe — owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, Cyrus Capital and Stobart — was worth saving when Thomas Cook wasn’t?