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It is time for the curtain to fall on Boris Johnson ’s tawdry and tainted time in Downing Street.

He may still have the title of Prime Minister but he has none of the authority that comes with that position. This is a defunct ­administration led by a zombie premier.

Mr Johnson may try to stay in office but he will no longer be in power.

Nobody can govern when they cannot command the confidence of half their Cabinet.

Coherent government is impossible when ministers are able to extort demands from a weakened Prime Minister by dangling the threat of resignation.

To cling on is not just supreme vanity it is an insult to the country at time when it is crying out for competent government.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appearing in front of the Liaison Committee in the House of Commons, London ( PA)

The exodus of talented ministers and aides has reduced the government benches to lickspittles, incompetents and oddballs who would never get a job under any other leader.

Those Conservative MPs who finally found their moral spines deserve no credit. It was their misjudgment that allowed Johnson to become Prime Minister even though it was blatantly obvious he was unfit to govern.

They continued to prop up his chaotic premiership as he trashed the standards and structures that underpin our democracy.

Boris Johnson has been urged to quit by his own party ( PA)

They stood in silence as he broke the rules and then lied about it to Parliament.

They failed to act when he allowed tens of thousands of care home residents to die from Covid and oversaw widespread cronyism as PPE contracts were handed out like sweeties.

They did not protest as he illegally prorogued Parliament or breached international law.

The Conservative Party deserves to be permanently contaminated by its association with this Prime Minister.

The price the rest of us will have to pay is much higher. He has left us with a morally and economically bankrupt country.

The exit door stands ajar. For the sake of decency, honesty and trust he must be forced to go.

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