Alex Phillips: If the party's over for Boris, who can step up to replace him?

Sunak? Truss? Or even, another election...?


Better the devil you know, goes the old adage.

But with the Prime Minister's apologies sounding increasingly farcical and the legendary gatekeepers of Tory leadership the 1922 Committee meeting this afternoon, what would it take to topple him?

Will Sue Grey's inquiry whitewash multiple Covid infringements and see him live to fight the May elections? Will it expose Boris as a busted flush? Or is this not the time for change at the top? Do the Tories, and the country, still need the Bojo Mojo in spite of everything?

One thing is for sure, WhatsApp groups are a-chatter and the opposition are sharpening their blunt tools, while various news choppers gratuitously tracked the PM's car journey to Parliament as if he may symbolically career from power.

The sense is that this time, it's more than just a bump in the road. But before backbenchers add Boris to the bonfire of premature Premierships, who on earth could take his place?

Does the toothsome Sunak have the spine to tackle the cost of living crisis and reap Brexit dividends?

What about Liz Truss - the ex Lib Dem but now True Blue poster girl and vocal protector of Womens Rights?

Or is one of the opportunistic Old Guard ready to dust off their Correx boards and re-enter the fray?

Or are the lot of them now so toxic, it's time to drag the nation back to the polls?

Or in the ageless words of Brenda from Bristol, You're Joking. Not another one! Public opinion is all over the place...