It resembles that blessed moment of relief, in an hotel or restaurant, when an unruly child who has been making an intolerable noise, running around the room and pestering diners is finally removed by his feeble parents. Rory has left the building.

What on earth was the aberration that was Rory Stewart’s delusory bid for the premiership all about? What were Conservative MPs thinking about, indulging this natural candidate for membership of Change.UK so far as the third round of a leadership election contest when the Tory party is on the verge of extinction?

Roaming the countryside like Richard Hannay in search of the thirty-nine steps, Stewart was clearly engaged in living out some personal fantasy. His supporters coyly implied he had been employed by MI6 – which would explain a lot about British geopolitical disasters in the past couple of decades.