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Penny Mordaunt denies wanting to be pope

The Conservative party is in fresh turmoil today as several ministers called for a vote of no confidence in Pope Francis. Although publicly expressing support for the ageing pontiff, Grant Shapps and Penny Mordaunt have pointedly refused to rule themselves out of a leadership bid.

One of several forms shapeshifter Grant Shapps takes told the BBC’s Nick Mason:

‘For sure, I’d make a grab for the choir boy if he came loose in the scrum, but as things stand, Pope Francis has my full backing. He’s doing a great job at pontificating while the world turns to shite, which are qualities we greatly admire in the Conservative party.’

Several ministers are said to be taking soundings from potential supporters. Pope Francis spends a lot of time standing on balconies, which could open a window of opportunity in the near future, especially for Russian party donors. Boris Johnson has cut short a tour of Bangkok’s red-light district, fuelling speculation that he plans a return to frontline Catholicism. Vatican sources have expressed concern that Carrie Johnson may try to wallpaper the Sistine Chapel.

A sock handpuppet with googly eyes told the BBC:

‘Boris already speaks Latin and clearly doesn’t believe in contraception. The confession part will be a bit tricky, obviously, but he can’t wait to get his hands on that popemobile and the Vatican bank - what jolly fun!’

Sir Keir Starmer has ruled himself out of the race, fearing the ceremonial hats will play havoc with his beautiful hair.

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