What a silly man Michael Howard is. Sacking Boris Johnson over a straightforward affair with a colleague is just the latest pointless move of a party in its death throes.

Howard claims it’s because Johnson omitted to tell the truth about the affair when questioned. But what business is it of his in the first place? Isn’t it between Johnson and his wife, not the public and not the Conservative party?

The sacking clearly has more to do with the ‘maudlin Liverpool’ article in the Spectator, for which Johnson made full and humble reparation. Let’s not forget: he didn’t even write the thing. As editor, he took responsibility for the article’s appearance, and didn’t attempt to shift the blame onto the journalist who wrote it. In fact, he didn’t even reveal the name of the journalist and took the entire weight of critics’ wrath on himself, which was both gentlemanly and professional of him. Regular readers will know I rarely speak kindly of right-wingers, into which category both Labour and the Tory party now fall, but Johnson is by no means among the worst of the bunch.

Howard has misjudged this one spectacularly. Convinced that Posh Boris is now a liability, based only on the mistiming of that controversial Spectator article and the outcry that ensued in the wake of Ken Bigley’s murder, he has lost his only MP with a personality. Johnson is popular with the public. I challenge anyone to name another Tory MP who is even recognisable to most of Britain, let alone liked.

This sort of prurience just highlights how out of touch the Conservative party really is. This is 2004, not 1964. Unless a politician makes a point of harping on about family values while engaged in extra-marital dalliances of his or her own – which Johnson did not – then their sex lives are their own business. Don’t we all have bigger fish to fry?