IT wasn’t much and it wasn’t enough.

Boris Johnson apologised for going to a party which he didn’t realise was a party because, he argued, it was “technically” within the guidelines as a work event – as if everyone brings their own booze to a work meeting – and he only stayed 25 minutes before heroically returning to his own desk to carry on the fight against the virus.

It is also safe to say that, technically, it was a slippery piece of work. It avoided genuine culpability; it minimised his responsibility, and it didn’t explain why he was only apologising once he’d been found out.

As Labour backbencher Chris Bryant said, it was “a shower of shenanigans”.

Now it is up to the Conservative MPs, many like our own red wallers who owe their seats to Boris Johnson, to decide whether they are going to defend him or whether they’ve had enough of him leading them up the path, ringing the doorbell and then running away, leaving them to take the brunt of their constituents’ fury, just as he did over Owen Paterson last year.

Is it not interesting that Rishi Sunak, the Richmond MP who is a front runner to replace him, was as far away as Devon when he could have been supportively on the benches beside the Prime Minister?

Even if you support Mr Johnson, even if you wish he’d get on with levelling up, you must be saddened by this crisis lurching on for another week when the report is to be published. Then there will be more recriminations and lowly resignations before Mr Johnson once more presses the reset button to re-establish himself – until another “shower of shenanigans” cascades over him.

The country deserves much better than this sad cycle.