As the Brexit process lurches from one disaster to the next, it’s been noted by many commentators Boris Johnson has been conspicuous by his absence from mainstream broadcast media in recent weeks.

But today, Harley Street Professor Aaron Young, an expert in parallel cryogenic processes, appeared on network lunchtime news bulletins to explain the mystery.

‘Mr Johnson is currently in chemically-induced stasis fully encased in a synthetic chrysalis and won’t emerge until the day after the parliamentary debate on Mrs May’s Brexit deal,’ explains Professor Young. ‘It is being suspended by a silken thread from the ceiling of a cloakroom maintained at a temperature of minus 50 degrees at an exclusive gentlemen’s club in Mayfair.’

‘He is undergoing a process that will see him temporarily change, for approximately three weeks only, from a feckless self-serving I’ll-say-anything-to-get-me-publicity egotist, into an almost believable statesman with what appears to be the faintest shred of integrity. But I reiterate, the change will only be for a few weeks only.’

A source close to Johnson said: ‘He’s dropped so many clangers in recent months that we daren’t let him speak in public at the moment. But when this Brexit deal crashes and burns and Mrs May is ousted by her loyal friends and colleagues, then providing Boris can look the part but shut the fuck up for the duration of leadership election he’ll be our next leader.’

‘Once he becomes PM and this treatment has worn off it’ll be back to his usual foot-in-mouth diplomatic disasters. You know, that good old shooting-from-the-hip-speaking-utter-drivel-and-Latin-before-he-knows-what-he’s-even-going-to-say type of guff we all know and love. With a bit of luck we’re hoping his first Boris balls-up might be to say something so crass that it somehow sees Matthew Hedges rearrested, deported back to the UAE then thrown into jail again.’

‘And just think how amazing it’s going to be at future G20 meetings when as PM Boris sits down ‘mano a mano’ to chew the fat with President Trump. Wow, that’s really going to be something.’