Throughout the extraordinary exams fiasco, his is the crucial voice that has not been heard.
Despite the ferocious row over the A-level results shambles, Boris Johnson chose not to interrupt his holiday to offer solace to those who have endured days of deep uncertainty over their future.
But now the Mail can reveal where the Prime Minister has been enjoying his glorious isolation during the crisis.
Since the weekend, Mr Johnson and fiancée Carrie Symonds, 32, have been holidaying in a remote three-bedroom cottage on the Scottish coast.
Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds, 32, have been spending their holiday on the Scottish coast
Mr Johnson’s three-bedroom property, which features its own source of spring water, was likely to have been chosen for its remoteness
And it appears the Prime Minister has lived up to reports that he would spend a few days of his summer holiday camping – as a tepee-style canvas tent has been pitched near the hideaway home.
Mr Johnson’s choice of a modest property and a home-nation ‘staycation’ is in stark contrast to the glamorous surroundings of the luxury Caribbean island of Mustique, where the Prime Minister chose to holiday over the New Year period.
But despite using social media during his break to congratulate GCSE pupils on their results and to comment on the sentencing of the Manchester Arena bomber’s brother, Mr Johnson has not commented on the exams row, leading to claims that he has been ‘invisible’ during the controversy.
Mr Johnson worked during the parliamentary summer recess before going on holiday. But unlike previous prime ministers, including David Cameron and Theresa May, who have allowed the Press to take pictures during their summer breaks, Mr Johnson decided not to.
No 10 insists Mr Johnson has been kept briefed on the exams situation while at the Scottish property.
But yesterday, when the Daily Mail offered the Prime Minister the opportunity to issue a public statement on the A-levels furore, Downing Street declined. It has yet to confirm when Mr Johnson will return, though he will be back at work next week.
Mr Johnson travelled to Scotland with his fiancée, baby Wilfred, and their dog Dilyn last weekend. The cottage where they are staying features sweeping coastal views and costs more than £1,500 a week to rent in the peak summer months.
A tepee-style canvas tent has been pitched next to the couple’s hideaway home in Scotland
The canvas tent, which is not normally listed as a feature of the property, could be seen about 50 yards from the cottage.
The property, which features its own source of spring water, was likely to have been chosen for its remoteness, with the few nearby homes located several hundred yards away. A public road overlooks the cottage, but the Mail has decided not to reveal its location.
Yesterday, Mr Johnson was seen coming and going to talk with his six-strong security team, whose three vehicles have been parked outside throughout his stay.
At one stage, Mr Johnson pulled on a woollen hat in the bracing coastal winds.
The Prime Minister’s presence in the remote corner of Scotland has caused a flutter of excitement among those who have managed to catch a glimpse of him.
One holidaymaker told the Mail how he was taken aback when the Tory leader stumbled past him on a hiking trail on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister (pictured on holiday) travelled to Scotland with his fiancée, baby Wilfred, and their dog Dilyn last weekend
He described how Mr Johnson, whose face was covered with a specialist hat designed to keep away the area’s notorious midge population, was joined on the walk by a small entourage.
As well as two close-protection guards who are routinely at the Prime Minister’s side, he was joined by Miss Symonds, a local guide and an unknown woman who was walking Dilyn. The tourist said: ‘It just looked like any other normal family day out.’
Last night, opposition politicians said Mr Johnson should have interrupted his stay to address the exams fiasco.
Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrats’ education spokesman, said the Prime Minister’s silence on the issue had been ‘deafening’.
She added: ‘The very least the Prime Minister should have said was sorry. Holiday or not, he must apologise for the impact of this fiasco on young people, and for choosing ‘yes men’ over competent ministers.’
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said: ‘Instead of heeding warnings and addressing this looming crisis before it was too late, the Prime Minister has been invisible.
Mr Johnson was seen coming and going to talk with his six-strong security team and at one stage pulled on a woollen hat in the bracing coastal winds
‘Parents, young people and teachers deserve a public apology from the Prime Minister and a plan for how he will get a grip of his Government.’
On Monday, the Government performed a U-turn on A-level results just days after they were published, allowing students to receive their teacher-assessed grades, instead of those moderated by a controversial algorithm.
The row has led to pressure on Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and triggered charges of government incompetence.
Sir Bernard Jenkin, the Tory chairman of the liaison select committee, yesterday broke ranks to express concern that Mr Johnson’s Government had been repeatedly refusing to take the blame for its mistakes.
He told Radio 4’s The World At One that there was a ‘sort of pattern setting in’ under Mr Johnson’s watch, whereby ‘something goes wrong and it is the permanent secretary’s fault or it is some public body’s fault’.
Earlier this year, Mr Johnson was called a ‘part-time prime minister’ by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for refusing to cut short a break to respond to flooding in the UK.
The Prime Minister last month said he would be working ‘flat out’ through the summer but revealed plans to escape for a mini-break at some point.
He said: ‘I would encourage people still to think of wonderful staycations here in the UK. There are all sorts of fantastic destinations, the best in the world. All my happiest holiday memories are of holiday vacations here in the UK, bucket-and-spade jobs or whatever, and I thoroughly recommend it.’
And as he hides away, how other PMs happily posed for hols
Mr and Mrs Rambler: Theresa and Philip May went walking in the Alps after she got the top job in 2016
Chillaxing: David Cameron and wife Samantha at a fish market in Aljezur, southern Portugal, in 2013
Staycation: Gordon Brown at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in Dorset in 2007
Cheesy grins: Tony and Cherie Blair at the port of Charlestown near Truro, Cornwall, in 2001