Of the many strange things that  happened in the last few weeks, while I was away in Italy, perhaps the strangest thing of all was the publication of a string of reports suggesting Boris Johnson will be back in Number 10 as Prime Minister before the year is out. Cripes. Just when you thought the old boy was a goner, back he springs to life, as if in a scene from Stranger Things, the Netflix science fiction series involving monsters, lies, parallel universes and the Russians.

It was reported this week that a petition demanding a vote on Johnson’s return has attracted many thousands of signatures from Tory members. Boris, it was said, supported the efforts of campaigners seeking his reinstallation. Lord Cruddas, a Tory donor and friend of Johnson, is leading the campaign. My old friend Christopher Hope of the Telegraph has reported all this.