Michael Gove, the former Secretary of State for Justice, stunned Britain today when he revealed at a press conference the true reason why he had ceased to endorse Boris Johnson as a candidate for British Prime Minister.
'The truth is,' admitted a deeply embarrassed Mr Gove, 'that Boris is a character from Pokémon Go. He simply doesn't exist.
'Politics is so boring,' explained the MP for Surrey Heath, 'that I, and most of my parliamentary colleagues, play games on our smartphones nearly all the time. Nigel Mills got caught in 2014 during a Commons committee meeting, but we all do it.
'In the past, when on the move, it's been hard to complete the next level of games like Candy Crush without walking into things. Pokémon Go solved that problem because you can see what's in front of you as you wander about. Unfortunately, that makes it all too easy to confuse the game with real life.'
Mr Gove was asked about why he had never realised that Boris was part of the game rather than part of the real world.
'In retrospect, I feel like a complete idiot,' the MP responded. 'I should have twigged that something was odd at our very first meeting. Boris was hanging from the celling lights in Westminster Hall on that occasion. At the time, I just put it down to the man being a bit of an eccentric. I'd been hoping that someone would emerge who had a fresh approach to politics that might re-engage an increasingly cynical and disillusioned public. I suppose it was that desire which blinded me to other bizarre clues too. For example, in real life, nobody dresses, or has a haircut, like that!
'I might never have noticed, mind you,' he continued, 'if my mobile hadn't run out of charge on the 29th June. Boris just vanished when the phone went dead. I looked for him for ages before I finally realised what must have happened.'
When asked why no one else had noticed that Boris Johnson was not real, Mr Gove admitted that one MP had, indeed, identified the problem at an early stage. 'Jeremy Corbyn spotted it immediately,' he revealed. 'As you know, Jeremy has taken an oath to live as if in the 1970s - both in relation to his behaviour and his beliefs. It's a bit like the way the Amish Community pretend it's still the 18th century. As a result, Jeremy doesn't have a smartphone.
'The problem was that no one took Jeremy seriously. Many times he's sat on the Labour front bench sporting his flared trousers and wide lapels - and with his ban-the-bomb sign propped up against the next seat - passionately proclaiming that Boris Johnson doesn't exist.
'Once everyone's decided that a person's mad, however, nobody listens to them - even when they're saying something sensible. We all just ignored Jeremy when he pointed at Boris' seat in the chamber and kept saying that it was empty. We could all see via our smartphones, after all, that the right honourable member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip was clearly sitting there.
'It added to the confusion,' Michael Gove concluded, 'when Niantic, the publishers of Pokémon Go, released a quest to escape from a hostile country as part of the game. For some reason, that country got named "Europe" by default, and, in the story, the Boris character happened to be leading the other characters to freedom.'
Hal J. Geekson, the Niantic programmer who created the Boris Johnson character, also spoke to the press this morning. He confessed to being unsurprised about the British revelation. 'We realised some time ago that this kind of misunderstanding could occur,' Mr Geekson told a press conference in San Francisco. 'On the subject of which: there's something we need to tell you guys about Donald Trump. ...'