By Bill Heaney
Boris Johnston was said to be heading home last night to claim back the premiership.
Some of the best informed political commentators were putting their reputation on the line by forecasting that Boris was a stick-on to wrest the top job back from humiliated Liz Truss.
And from what we were hearing in the run up to midnight there would be “a coronation” for Boris come Monday.
Partygate was now a non issue and all of Boris’s transgressions in office, which saw him shown the door with the number 10 on it, would be set aside.
A great number of people in the country will be dismayed by what’s happening – with the exception being the vast majority of Tory MPs who have now indicated that they will be jumping for joy for Johnston’s victory.
Nicola Sturgeon’s nose will be out of joint at the news since her hopes of a referendum on Independence and the prospect of a general election will disappear down the Thames
There will be parties aplenty at which fatted calves will be served up and vats of wine and champagne will be consumed merrily to celebrate the Prodigal Son’s return.
Meanwhile, Penny Mordaunt was the first Tory leadership contender to confirm she is running for No 10, promising she can deliver a “fresh start” for the party. The Commons leader – who finished third in the last race, in July – is likely to face Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson.
However, Sunak may duck out when he sees the writing on the wall for his campaign, and yet to an announcement about his participation.
Ms Mordaunt is believed to have told Jeremy Hunt he will remain as chancellor – and that there will be no delay to his de-facto budget planned for 31 October, but that will not count now that Boris is back in the Tory fold.
We live in interesting times.