As Conservative Party members elevated Liz Truss to be their new leader on Monday, nostalgia for Boris Johnson is palpable. There’s even speculation that, like his hero Winston Churchill, he may one day return from the wilderness.

Even if Johnson never leads his party again, few doubt that he will cast a long shadow from the sidelines. And that has made his legacy contested territory — because it’s essential for defining the Tory Party and conservatism in the post-Johnson era.

To his followers (and Johnson doesn’t have supporters so much as acolytes), he is the savior who delivered Brexit and the Houdini who conjured up a whole new electoral coalition from swaths of the country that had voted Labour for 70 years. To his detractors, he was the reckless driver who crashed out of the EU. His election became the source of a toothache, maybe even wider decay in his party and public debate.