In response to the letter from Jeff Manners (CP, 29-04-22) regarding Boris Johnson being our worst PM ever, may I interject a little balance?

I am sure that Boris can defend himself but then I don’t suppose he often has the chance to read the County Press.

I do not have space in this letter to make a detailed comparison with other prime ministers (I will do that in my forthcoming book on the subject) so here is the shorthand version.

Robert Walpole — held office for 21 years through systematic bribery; ‘every man has his price’.

Duke of Grafton — the laziest prime minister in history. Achieved ... nothing.

Lord North — lost the American colonies through arrogance and complacency.

The Duke of Wellington — believed that protesters (over the Reform Bill of 1832) should be attacked by the army, ‘ridden down at the chest of a horse’.

Lord Palmerston — ‘Lord Cupid’ made sexual advances to virtually anyone in a skirt.

Benjamin Disraeli — permitted an illegal war against the Zulus, was a hopelessly inept Chancellor of the Exchequer and never repaid a debt over his country estate.

William Gladstone — nipped out from Number Ten to ‘save’ fallen women, then whipped himself to atone for the fact.

Herbert Asquith — presided over a cabinet riddled with corruption over shares in the Marconi company.

David Lloyd George — no secretary was safe in his company.

Ramsay McDonald — accepted a Daimler car and £30,000 in shares in the McVitie company in exchange for honours.

Neville Chamberlain — kow-towed to Hitler in shocking appeasement.

Winston Churchill — admittedly before his time as PM, presided over the useless and bloody Gallipoli campaign of the First World War and sent troops against unarmed miners in South Wales.

Margaret Thatcher — reintroduced the hated poll tax of 1381 and put monetarism before people.

John Major — a non-event and (as we discovered) adulterer.

Tony Blair — sponsored an illegal war with Iraq, based on false information.

So, in answer to Mr Manners’ question, is Boris Johnson our worst ever PM, the answer is an emphatic ‘No’.

PS: by the way, nothing from Mr Manners on ‘Smarmy Starmie’, Angela Rayner and their friends in the Durham Constabulary.