In less than 48 hours, the British government collapsed on itself amid a torrent of ministerial resignations that stripped multiple departments across Whitehall of their chief decision makers and, eventually, forced Boris Johnson to stand down.
There have been tears among staff in No 10 and pockets of officials turning to the bottle, knowing that the fight is up or quietly celebrating the end. Conferences and meetings with key government stakeholders have been cancelled, at a cost of thousands of pounds. Even insiders at the US Embassy have raised the question of “what the fuck is going on?”.
“We’re headless, incapable of taking any decisions at all,” said one official at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). “A zombie government,” said another Whitehall source.