The National:

WASTE piling high in the streets; critical shortages of live-saving medicines; a total disregard for the will of the Scottish people.

Brexit, especially a No-Deal one, threatens to heap the kind of misery on the UK not seen since Gordon Brown’s last lecturing tour.

The Tories, however, have everything under control.

But the party’s hard-won reputation for competence – moulded by the capable hands of Theresa May, Chris Grayling and Jeremy Corbyn – has now been tarnished by one of their own.

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Iain Duncan Smith, in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, has admitted claims that preparations for a No-Deal Brexit had been completed by the Tory government were not “correct”.

Fear not, though. The former Conservative leader has assured us that under the notoriously meticulous rule of Boris Johnson – who has repeatedly refused to rule out a hard Brexit – the UK will leave no stone unturned to mitigate the inevitable chaos instigated by the UK crashing out of the EU.

BBC 5 Live host Emma Barnett opens the exchange with Duncan Smith, saying: “Your government came out again and again – I might see if our team can put a montage together – over the last three years onto this programme and told the British public that all preparations for No Deal had been made.”

*The faint grind of wheels turning in Duncan Smith’s head sounds* “…Yes,” comes his eventual response, somewhat lacking in detail.

“Were they lying?” Barnett asks.

“Well it wasn’t correct,” the Tory MP admits.

Barnett asks: “So they were telling falsehoods?”

“Well the fact is that we haven’t made all preparations,” Duncan Smith says. “That is exactly what is now happening.”

Keen to reassure members of the public fearing medicine, food and water shortages, the Tory MP explains that a crack team is on the job. He adds: “That is what the Prime Minister, Michael Gove, Dominic Cummings are all focused on.”

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Barnett probes again: “Why should we believe you when the previous lot, only three weeks ago, were saying that everything had been done.”

Swerving the questions, Duncan Smith says: “Well all I’m doing now is telling you what everyone is doing because it hasn’t been done.”

Asked once more, he gives an unconventional explanation as to why the public should believe the current crop of leading Tory toffs’ claims about Brexit preparations: “Well because we don’t have to believe us.

“We’re going to be public about all of the preparation so everybody can know how far we’ve got.”

Feeling reassured?