The old adage has it that we’re never more than six feet away from a Conservative Party leadership candidate?

It’s a saying that seems almost deliberately contrived to get a reaction, but isn’t exactly clear where the adage comes from.

It may derive from the former Ministry of Agriculture, suggests politics expert Prof Brian Cock from Rochdale’s Community University who has circulated many public health announcements to promote hygiene in homes.

It is also associated with another commonly quoted statistic, that the population of politicians outnumbers the population of humans.

“This statistic is ritually used in news stories about right wing politicians and has been for more than 100 years,” says Graham Bell author of Politicians: A Year with London’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants.

“Fortunately it’s very unlikely that a Conservative Party Leadership candidate is ever likely to be found in your home preferring to either live in a sewer or under the compost heap at the bottom of your garden.”

“If you are ever confronted by a Boris Johnson or an Esther McVey in your kitchen we suggest trying to stun them with a slipper or calling a pest control professional.”

“Either way you will have to fumigate your home afterwards and we strongly advise disinfecting any surfaces they may have come into contact with because their hands are filthy dirty.”