Published: 12:01, 09 September 2019
| Updated: 12:02, 09 September 2019
If last week was a challenging one for Boris Johnson, this week looks set to be equally difficult if not more so.
The dramatic resignation of the work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd was another blow to his authority and underlined the impression that he is facing misgivings within his own top team about his Brexit strategy.
Today we will see another attempt to trigger a general election but it already seems to have been conceded that it is destined to failure.
The question as to what happens next is not clear; but the clock is ticking as Parliament is due to be suspended this week, effectively limiting the government’s options. The next few days are as unpredictable as events were last week.
The current stalemate is having ramifications for those MPs suspended after rebelling against the government. They include the Tunbridge Wells MP and former business minister Greg Clark.
The problem is that he is among MPs who have yet to be readopted by their local constituency party associations; because he has had the whip withdrawn, party rules mean that he is not permitted to stand as a candidate, much as he would wish to.
Unless and until he is brought back into the Conservative fold, his prospects look rather poor.
With an election possible - despite the government's difficulties in getting enough MPs to support it - Mr Clark, who is keeping a diplomatic silence on his position, could be frozen out.
Having made an example of the 21 rebels, any move to restore the whip risks the government and Boris Johnson looking opportunistic.
Still the unpredictability of the political climate makes anything possible.
More by this authorPaul Francis