SHORTLY before 9am peace broke out in a clash marked by lost tempers, certificate 18 language, and heartfelt pleas for forgiveness.

It was not Liz Truss trying to make things right in her last week in the job. She was in Chequers, having a series of leaving dos, attendance figures unknown.

The peace and goodwill happened on Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday, where Steve Baker, the Northern Ireland Minister, was the first guest.

Last week, it had been Channel 4 News host Krishnan Guru-Murthy interviewing Mr Baker. After a tetchy exchange, Guru-Murthy was overheard calling the Minister a four letter word. The news anchor apologised but it was not enough to save him from a week’s suspension by Channel 4.

Ridge mentioned the row at the end of her interview with Baker. The MP acknowledged he had “torn strips” off Guru-Murthy after being told the interview was pre-recorded only for it to be used live. “I am not surprised his blood was up. I forgive him and that is the end of it,” he said. If only all Westminster disputes could end so amicably.

Back to the main business of the day: how to analyse last week events, and those of the week to come, when the story was playing out minute by minute?

On Saturday it had looked manageable. Boris Johnson had flown back from the Caribbean nice and early. There was talk of a meeting with Rishi Sunak. Nothing had leaked by Sunday morning.

Was it possible that reports of Johnson’s resurrection were premature? Did he even have the 100 names required? A sceptical Sophy Ridge asked Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris why the Johnson camp were not coming forward with names. “Is it a bit like saying I have got a girlfriend but you won’t know her she goes to a different school?”

Mr Baker had kicked the morning off by praising Mr Johnson at the same time as trying to bury his chances. Great campaigner, but think of the looming Privileges Committee hearings. It was an example followed by others as the day wore on.

On BBC1’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, her question of the day was brief and to the point: “Can any of them get a grip?” Commons leader Penny Mordaunt, still the only official candidate at this point, said she could be relied upon to unify the party, but she would not be drawn on what a Mordaunt government would do. Kuenssberg tried for answers on tax rises, spending cuts, raising benefits in line with inflation, meeting immigration targets, but no dice.

Kuenssberg didn’t think much of this sudden outbreak of reticence, particularly when Mordaunt had gone on record saying benefits should rise with inflation.

Ms Mordaunt did say she would keep Jeremy Hunt on as Chancellor. As for reports of her camp approaching Johnson’s, these were “completely false”, adding: “It’s not about him, it’s not about me, it’s about the country.”

The country wanted to know what the candidates would do on becoming Prime Minister. Were they for spending cuts, or tax rises, or both? All was quiet on the Sunday politics show front.

On Kuenssberg’s panel was Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England. He said it was time for all politicians to “front up” on the economic problems facing the UK: high inflation, growing debt, and the country’s need to save more.

Labour leader Keir Starmer was hardly more forthcoming than Penny Mordaunt when he spoke to Kuenssberg, insisting that the party had to see the Office for Budget Responsibility’s assessment of the government’s plans before he could be more specific. He did, however, say a Labour government faced tough choices.

On TV and radio and online, the Sunak and Johnson candidacies were being treated as fact even though neither had officially declared they were running. It was left to their proxies, Jacob Rees-Mogg for Johnson and Dominic Raab for Sunak, to fill the airtime. Rees-Mogg said Johnson “will clearly stand”.

At 10.33am, more than half an hour after the programme had ended, the Press Association announced Sunak’s candidacy. At the same time it was reported that the Sunak-Johnson talks had come to nought and Johnson, far from stepping aside, was ready for a fight.

What was going on? Was Sunak piling up the endorsements to pressure Johnson into standing aside?

Ridge wondered if the media were not being drawn into the Boris Johnson soap opera once more. That assumed a script was in existence. When was the last time anyone could be sure of that?