THE “bloody difficult woman” is still there, Theresa May insisted in an interview at the weekend following yet another week of Tory political turmoil.

The Prime Minister has seen one group of MPs publicly discussing how to bin her Chequers deal on Brexit and another plotting to oust her as leader.

Bearing in the mind the many setbacks she has experienced during her time in the top job, these are relatively minor, but she still had to respond.

Mrs May is not exactly known for her stunning PR coups, but stressing her focus on the country’s future rather than her own, and highlighting her years of public service, was a sensible move. Possible successor Boris Johnson has been condemned this week after comparing Mrs May’s Brexit plan to a “suicide vest” and his personality-focused, policy-lite style is not winning him much support at present – outside the party at least. How a man who can make such crass comments was ever foreign secretary, never mind being touted as a potential future prime minister, beggars belief.

Mrs May is right to describe his words as “completely inappropriate” – and in her assertion that “there’s a difference between those who think you can only be bloody difficult in public, and those who think actually you bide your time, and you’re bloody difficult when the time is right.”

Well with six months to Brexit, that time is now. She needs to be difficult – at home and abroad – to get the right deal for the UK.