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A silly man for serious times: That could be Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign slogan.

What’s your instinctive reaction at the news that Boris Johnson has resigned? That he chose country over party (ha ha)? That he knew the latest Brexit ‘plan’ is unworkable (stop it! you’re killing me)? That he took the honourable way out (that’s too funny! Is there a doctor in the house)?

Mine was that he’s up to something nasty.

BoJob was always one to seek advantage from the perceived weakness of others and I think that’s what he’s doing now.

He remains a hugely influential figure in the Conservative Party and the withdrawal of his support from the May administration is likely to turn backbenchers against her – along with quite a lot of public feeling.

I don’t think he’ll go for an overt leadership challenge – he’s too wily for that. It’s far more likely that he will await the result of a ‘no confidence’ vote and then put himself up as an alternative candidate if Mrs May loses.

The prime minister herself is currently claiming she’ll be happy to face down any challengers – but this could be just a lot of bravado from a windbag who knows she has been punctured and doesn’t have a repair kit.#

Her government is on the brink. It will take only one more major ministerial resignation to push it over the edge, I reckon – if Mr Johnson’s isn’t already doing the job in a delayed-reaction way.

Will there be another resignation? Hard to tell. Tories are cowards who rarely have the courage of their convictions – remember the so-called “rebels” who chickened out of undermining the EU Withdrawal Act at the last minute, on the basis of a blatant lie by Mrs May.

And if the current chaos in the Tory government triggers a general election, they know they’ll be out of office – not just for a few years, but for at least a generation.

The summer is reaching boiling point! I just hope this drama doesn’t boil over on Wednesday when I’ll be trying to watch England win the World Cup semi-final.

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