IF there was anyone left with any doubts about Boris Johnson’s fitness to be Prime Minister, his shambolic, bizarre speech to the CBI proves that the buffoon is completely out of his depth.

Johnson lost track of his speech notes, shuffling his papers and plaintively repeating, “forgive me.” Owen Paterson said on his resignation that he was leaving “ the cruel world of politics”. A cruel world indeed – not only does the opposition smell blood, but members of Johnson’s own party have increasing doubts about his competence. The Conservative Party traditionally air their grievances in private, but are ruthless if they think that a senior politician like Johnson is a liability. Johnson’s gaffes and numerous U-turns have eroded his authority.

READ MORE: Are we seeing the beginning of the end of Prime Minister Boris Johnson?

Many senior members of the Conservative party have a low opinion of Boris Johnson and have said so publicly.

Dominic Grieve, ex Conservative Attorney General, said of Johnson: “ I’m afraid he’s shown, especially during his period as Foreign Secretary, that he doesn’t have the necessary skills and capacity [to be a leader].” Former MP Sir Alan Duncan: “He’s an enormous character but not a team player. The more he repeats what everyone can see is not credible, the more his own credibility disappears.” Michael Gove: “I wanted to help build a team behind Boris Johnson. But I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.” Chris Patten, former Conservative minister: “He’s lied his way through life, he’s lied his way through politics, he’s a huckster with a degree of charm to which I am immune. As well as being mendacious he’s incompetent.”

WATCH: Ian Blackford asks Boris Johnson when he's going to quit during PMQs

Amber Rudd, Consevative MP: “ Boris, well , he’s the life and soul of the party but he’s not the man you would want driving you home at the end of the evening.” Michael Heseltine, former Conservative deputy prime minister,: “[Johnson] is a man who waits to see the way the crowd is running and dashes in front and says ‘follow me!’” Sir Max Hastings, Johnson’s former boss at The Daily Telegraph: “ He is, indeed, manically disorganised about everything except his own image management.”

In a rare instance of candour and honesty, Johnson said to Jeremy Clarkson, presenter of Top Gear: “You can’t rule out the possibility that beneath the elaborately constructed veneer of a blithering idiot there lurks a blithering idiot.” Many a true word is spoken in jest.

Sandy Gordon

THERE may be some debate around the question of whether the speech made by the Prime Minister to the CBI conference this week was deliberately fashioned to distract attention from the controversial Social Care Bill or if it was simply a result of his legendary mendacity and lack of preparation. Regardless of his motives, both the speech and the passing of this bill demonstrate clearly that Boris Johnson and his government are now, if there indeed had been any doubts previously, utterly out of touch with the lives and everyday problems of ordinary people living in the UK.

In his shambolic and, frankly, downright bizarre address to business chiefs, Mr Johnson became fixated on a recent visit to Peppa Pig World. A visit to this amusement park would cost a family of four no less than £134, hardly within the price range of many young families. In his usual bumbling way he nevertheless sought to use his painful entrepreneurial analogy to try and keep his audience riveted. Predictably, he failed miserably.

WATCH: Boris Johnson asked to predict if he'll lose job before Douglas Ross

Later the unreconstructed party he purports to lead held their Winter Ball to celebrate another year of greed, corruption and deceit. Admission to the ball was £35,000 and a jolly hockey sticks type of auction for Tory members and donors saw the same price paid for the pleasure of an hour’s cricket with the Chancellor and £22,000 parted with to sing karaoke with the Foreign Secretary. As if this wasn’t enough fun, the Prime Minister’s own “Get Brexit Done” sign was purchased for £30,000 – not, I’m reliably informed, by Nigel Farage. There has seldom been a political group so removed from the real world over the last 100 years in the UK, and the Conservative Party and its confederates more resemble pre- revolutionary France in 1789 or Russia in 1917 than any modern Western European democracy.

As if to add insult to injury there was an interlude at the ball to allow the Cabinet and Tory members to rush back to Westminster to vote on the Social Care Bill and break their collective promises that nobody in England would have to sell their homes to pay for social care costs. Their new social care plan will witness a disproportionate burden on the poorest in society and leave the wealthiest relatively unscathed, continuing a political and social Conservative trend of abandoning the most vulnerable people in society to protect the richest. It is readily apparent that they mean to dismantle the NHS and this is the clearest indication yet. As usual Scottish Tory MPs obeyed their masters, as they surely will when their party begins their attack on the Scottish NHS. It’s not a matter of if but when.

Owen Kelly

I FELT your Wednesday front page should have been held back till Black Friday, when the best “deal” ever could be achieved for everyone. That deal could indeed level things up in the interest of the country, give the country direction and relieve everyone of the recent embarrassing show at the CBI conference. So, Prime Minister do the honourable in the interest of the country.

Catriona C Clark

MY friend told me that when she saw Boris Johnson’s Peppa Pig speech on TV she thought it was a comedian doing a voiceover.

Watson Crawford