Commentators often refer to the ‘cut and thrust’ of politics but these past few days have taken things to the extreme!

As I write, Boris Johnson has finally accepted the inevitable and agreed to stand down as Tory party leader, following a tsunami of resignations from Government ministers and aides, including some of his closest allies.

He plans to stay in office as Prime Minister until the autumn, clearly hoping to use the summer to leave some sort of legacy that isn’t tainted by scandal and corruption, but there is undoubtedly a groundswell of opinion, not least amongst his own MPs, that he needs to go now before any further damage is done.

The race to replace him appears to have begun already but I hold no hope his replacement will provide better leadership; after all, many of those with ambition to replace him put Johnson in post, despite knowing his appalling record, and have stood by him for months defending the indefensible through all the scandals.

In the end, they didn’t resign out of integrity, but because clearly became fearful he would seek to pull the whole Government down around him by calling a general election - something all of them fear.

In his desperation to cling on to power, he sought to rally support from his Brexiter backbenchers by picking a fight with the EU by bringing forward a Bill to amend the Northern Ireland Protocol, a core part of the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

This is the very Protocol for which he himself took credit during his 2019 election campaign to “get Brexit done”.

As I pointed out when I spoke in the debate, this will not only break international law but is ignoring the views of the majority of people in Northern Ireland, who support the Protocol.

Recent data shows the majority of businesses there have adapted, and the Northern Ireland economy is outperforming that of Great Britain due to the dual advantage of being able to trade freely with the EU and with the rest of the UK.

This is the kind of relationship the Scotland Government proposed, to at least partially respect Scotland’s vote to remain in the EU, but the request was dismissed.

Now, not just outside the EU but also the Single Market, we have seen a major decline in our exports and entire industries are struggling. No individual bilateral trade deals can replace the benefits of being part of the world’s biggest trade bloc and some experts suggest Brexit is the major driver of the cost-of-living crisis.

It is a stark reality, and one that Scots did not choose. I am pleased the wheels are now in motion to give Scotland the chance to take control of her own future, so we are no longer subjected to the disastrous decisions of governments at Westminster that we didn’t vote for, including this current bunch of charlatans.

Elsewhere, to mark the inaugural Manufacturing Day, I was delighted to visit Glennon Brothers at Troon Harbour for a tour of the site and to hear how Brexit and the pandemic have affected the business as well as about the developments to make the site more sustainable.

The site employs more than 200 people across their sawmill, which is one of the largest in the UK, their Timberframe construction unit and the combined heat and power plant which utilises the wood waste. There has been a lot of investment since I last visited, particularly to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste, and it was great to hear more about their drive for greater sustainability.

Finally, while I have not talked about Covid for some time, the Office of National Statistics’ random sampling programme suggests that cases have doubled in Scotland, with almost one in 15 Scottish residents currently infected with the virus.

While I would have liked to have seen more progress on improving indoor air quality through ventilation, we can all still take a bit more care to protect ourselves, and those around us who are vulnerable, by wearing masks in indoor public spaces and cleaning our hands regularly.