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We are sure that whoever takes over the Tory Party will have more honesty and integrity than the present Prime Minister.

But that is only because it would be impossible to find anyone with less.

In three years, Boris Johnson took trust in politics and politicians into the gutter and then dumped it in the sewer.

His legacy will be a litany of lies from Partygate to Pincher, and our memory will be of a man who could not look truth in the face without punching it on the snout.

Contrast that with Keir Starmer, who promised to resign if he received a Covid fine. That’s what integrity looks like.

And in Mr Johnson’s final insult to the British public, he refuses to go as PM, creating a Nightmare on Downing Street, which leaves the business of government paralysed.

That will put tackling the cost-of-living crisis on hold, allow inflation to run riot, leave Brexit for Northern Ireland in the balance and President Zelensky in limbo.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer ( REUTERS)

A clueless prime minister cannot be a caretaker one, and Mr Johnson’s duty to the nation is to let his deputy Dominic Raab take the reins until a permanent one can be found.

Now we will have to wait weeks, perhaps even months, before the NHS will get the help it needs and the economy is given the life support necessary if the UK is not to have the slowest growth of any G7 country.

And we have to deal with the fallout from the bull and bluster which disguised the problems building up under Mr Johnson’s premiership.

He pledged a better tomorrow once Covid was conquered and now that tomorrow is today, the country is rightly looking for the dividends.

Mr Johnson held out the prospect, if not specifically the promise, of proper wage rises. Now that they are failing to materialise, industrial unrest is the inevitable result.

Tory MPs held their noses and backed Mr Johnson because he was a vote-winner, and in 2019, he delivered an 87-seat majority.

But what Mr Johnson was offering was a fantasy. With a joke here and an ancient Greek phrase there, he convinced them it was possible to have both low taxes and high public spending.

Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor, has also launched his leadership campaign ( Getty Images)

To Rishi Sunak’s credit, he recognised that economic illiteracy for the pie in the sky it was and tensions between No10 and No11 grew.

And what is most concerning is that even before the race to replace Mr Johnson has begun, some of the candidates are spouting the same bilge in a bid to collar the top job.

That is why Keir Starmer is right when he says a fresh start is needed, to sweep away this zombie government, to ensure that we do not get another klutz squatting in No10.

There is also the democratic argument that the whole nation should have a say in who next governs them – not just 200,000 Tory members and a handful of Tory MPs.

And that means a snap General Election.

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