GORDON Brown was prime minister in name only last night as the machinery of state was transferred to New Avengers actress Joanna Lumley.
Ms Lumley has now set up an interim administration in the drawing room of her Chelsea townhouse as she waits for the formality of a general election.
Mr Brown is expected to be finally dragged from office later today after it was revealed he has been paying his own brother £65,000 a year to dress up like a cleaning lady.
It also emerged Jack Straw, the justice secretary, claimed thousands of pounds in council tax for houses that he would quite like to live in, while communities secretary Hazel Blears used public money to buy tiny furniture for her vast network of burrows.
As the government disintegrated like cheap toilet paper, Ms Lumley was huddled in talks with the close-knit group of deadly Gurkhas who carry her about in a chair.
A source said: "One of her first jobs will be to visit every family in the country and tell them how marvellous they are.
"Of course, once we take charge there will be no further need for political parties, or silly little things like elections and parliament. I'm warning you all now – do not fuck with Joanna Lumley."
Meanwhile, the new regime was taking shape last night with the appointment of Sir June Whitfield as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, while the leader's former New Avengers co-star Patrick McNee will finally get to take charge of MI5.