After Wednesday, it’s worth asking: who is in charge? The last 12 hours suggests it’s very hard to say.

Few say Liz Truss, since her word is no longer her bond, her writ limited.

So what are the other possibilities?

Few think it is Mark Fullbrook, the embattled chief of staff, but few believe his power extends far in Whitehall: he hints to MPs he would have acted faster over the suspension of the Senior Truss Aide Jason Stein who admired hostile briefings against MPs.

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Number 10 Chief of Staff Mark Fullbrook

Perhaps some might think the power lies with David Canzini, the PM’s phoenix-like political adviser, understood to be in the room during the lengthy Wednesday rows between Liz Truss and Suella Braverman – but this is the very wing he was expected to pacify so that doesn’t appear to be working.

If power rested with the cabinet, Liz Truss would either be gone or solidly in power: whispering to MP colleagues “there is a plan” to oust her – as MPs tell me – isn’t the same as having one and executing it.

Nobody thinks the Tory chief whip Wendy Morton has any authority after her un-resignation: such of her inability to confidently tell MPs Liz Truss will get out of this hole have traveled far and wide amongst MPs.

Wendy Morton, the Chief Whip, allegedly resigned, then unresigned!  Pic: AP
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Wendy Morton, the Chief Whip, allegedly resigned, then un-resigned Pic: AP

One might think Jeremy Hunt holds all the cards, our “de facto PM”, but it emerged on Wednesday he can be overruled by a coalition of Tory MPs and newspaper editors, taking options that could save billions off the table. That’ll happen again.

Some might think Parliament is back in charge, but still the Tories won today’s fracking vote so 2017-style coalitions of opposition and rebel MPs are no more fashionable on the biggest issues than they ever were.

'De facto PM(?)'  Jeremy Hunt with the current PM Liz Truss
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‘De facto PM’ Jeremy Hunt with the current PM Liz Truss

Read more: Who could replace Liz Truss as prime minister if she is you as Tory leader?

One might think Brexiteer MPs who have Liz where they want her – they did on Tuesday – but then she failed to sign up to their Brexit protocol demands in the Commons at PMQs – to their surprise.

Some might think power lies in the hands of the backbenches, but Wednesday suggests they can only block while being unable to decide amongst themselves how to proceed.

It could be the markets, but they might not get what they want without spending cuts that might struggle to get past MPs.

So some think power rests with Sir Graham Brady, seeing his role is to prevent division, another divisive leadership contest and implicitly a general election, but that requires unity beyond his reach.

Chairman of the 1922 Committee Graham Brady congratulates Liz Truss, as she is announced as Britain's next Prime Minister at The Queen Elizabeth II Center in London, Britain September 5, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
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Chairman of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady with Liz Truss after she was announced as PM

Meanwhile the fabled deep state, which is getting its way into the Treasury once more and excising non-conventional elements in government, cannot deliver without the partnership of a functioning governing party in Parliament and may yet come back under the spotlight and get the blame if Boris Johnson becomes PM again and wants revenge.

So who is in charge? Maybe today we find out.

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