Ponsonby: Prime Minister forced out by delusional Tories
Getting rid of Theresa May from office doesn't mean the Brexit 'reset' button is pushed.
No political party assassinates quite like the Tories. As the late Scottish Office minister Allan Stewart once told me: "We are very high on the bastard count."
The cabinet-led parliamentary coup has loud echoes of Margaret Thatcher's demise in 1990. Treachery with a smile, she would later call it.
It has, of course, always been brutal in the Conservative party. However, in the days when the grandees and not the nouveau riche delivered the coup de grace, the fabled men in grey suits would shuffle in to see the leader who would be prevailed upon to resign on health grounds.
It afforded an element of dignity. Now the borstal boys line up on college green in search of a TV camera to pledge their disloyalty.
A Tory civil war is being fought out as the country faces an impasse as acute as anything in peacetime and all as national elections are held. It is the stuff of the asylum.
May's leadership is no more. Conservative MPs may well be deluding themselves by thinking the reset button on Brexit has been pushed.
The hard, inescapable truth is that the impasse is not a symptom of who is the Prime Minister, it is a function of a parliament that does not know what it wants. Changing one role, no matter how pre-eminent, will not change that.
The washing of dirty linen in public will lead to a frenzy of excitement in Conservative ranks over the possibility that a new leader might reverse the slide of recent months. There is only one problem with that hope. It is anchored in utter delusion.
This will be a case of new leader, same old problem. The legacy of the latest crisis is that parliamentarians, truly aghast that it has come to this, might yet be able to agree what it is they really want.