With Theresa May’s grasp on power reduced to the nail varnish on one finger, the candidates to replace her have been formally announced.

Weighing in at 18 stone 7 lb and standing 5ft 2 and a half, Mark Francois is the deputy chair of the right-wing anti-European ERG; and was spawned in a newt pond in Islington.

He was in the Territorial Army, which anyone who has met him cannot fail to be aware of; and his wife passed on to a better place in 2006 when she divorced him.

Opposing Francois will be two slices of Tesco Value ham. In some ways similar to Francois in being unappealingly slimy and enormously salty, the ham has no human feeling, zero ideas on resolving Brexit and is unable to express itself lucidly in public. It is therefore seen as an ideal leader of the Tory party.

The ham also has the advantage over Mr Francois of not constantly saying stuff that would make even Michael Gove cringe.

Should the ham win, it will not be the first time a food stuff has entered politics. Roy Hattersley was replaced by a tub of lard in ‘Have I Got News For You’ and political historians believe that at least a year of Ramsey MacDonald’s administration was led by a succession of freshly-buttered scones.

Mark Francois was in typically understated form, saying “If I do not win the leadership, it will be the biggest injustice since the Crucifixion.”

The ham was unavailable for comment.