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  The Tories

New Tory split emerges over Churchill reappointment

The Conservative Party is once again in its now annual state of mildly-hilarious turmoil following rumours that senior members are considering yet another change of leadership. As DeadBrain reported on Monday, doubts have been raised about the capabilities of the current interim leader, Michael Howard, whom they say has failed to perform well during every single public appearance this year.

"We're not quite at IDS levels yet, but this is extremely disappointing," said one plotter. "His response to Butler was poor, the last PMQs of the session lacklustre, and as for his u-turn over Iraq... he may have what it takes to be prime minister, but lead the party? I don't think so."

However, a spokesman for the Tories was keen to stress that all MPs were fully behind Mr Howard, and not all of them were carrying knives. "There is a great deal of support for the current Conservative leader, insert as appropriate, and there is absolutely no question of a leadership challenge," he reassured journalists, reading from a laminated card glued to a podium in the party's new office above Starbucks.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the party has meanwhile failed to unite around a single successor to Mr Howard, who "emerged" as leader when pranksters left translated copies of the Soviet Guide to Running a Party lying on officials' desks following the sudden shock realisation that Iain "Duncan" Smith was inadequate for the job. As regular readers will remember, plans to imprison Michael Heseltine and Kenneth Clarke in a purpose-built gulag in North Yorkshire were only shelved following an objection from planning officers.

One potential candidate is thought to be a computer-generated virtual recreation of former leader Winston Churchill, but a deep split has already emerged over the famous war leader's pro-European views, not least because of his 1946 speech advocating a United States of Europe. Should the virtual Mr Churchill attempt to return as an MP, maverick former chat show host and wannabe walking Tango advert Robert Kilroy Silk has pledged to stand against him, potentially splitting the so-called "grey" vote.

Computer boffins are attempting to recreate other famous historical figures in the hope that they will prove more preferable to the party. Early choices are thought to include, bizarrely, Joseph Stalin for his policies on border control, Adolf Hitler for his abilities in improving the transport infrastructure, and Rod Hull "for the comedy value".

Attempts to produce a virtual, more lifelike version of Iain Duncan Smith have sadly ground to a halt after a demonstration version collapsed in a fit of coughing. The designers said that while the coughing seemed realistic it rendered the model utterly useless, and thus an accurate recreation.

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