There is a certain kind of politician for whom nothing in life seems ever to have gone wrong, and who has been spoken of by his contemporaries as destined for the glittering prizes.

Then, somehow, something goes awry, or at least not according to plan.

Rightly or wrongly, I put William Hague in that category, whose crushing by Tony Blair in the 2001 general election was his first major political reverse.  On the Labour side, one might mark out David Miliband.

Rishi Sunak may have secret sorrow unidentified to date, but I find it hard looking at his CV to see when he has previously suffered a big setback.

The one which he is enduring is personal as well as political, and we will now see whether, like Hague, he sticks at politics and further enjoys senior office or whether, like Miliband, he walks away.

I hope that he stays, but the row about his wife’s tax status will have been bruising, and his troubles aren’t yet over.

The Chancellor has experienced not only how swiftly triumph can turn to disaster in politics, but how support can suddenly vanish, troubles mount and friends disappear.

This is the “cruel world of politics” that Owen Paterson described before quitting it for good.  It may be that Sunak will discover during the next few weeks and months what it is that he really wants to do.