THE chaos of politics at Westminster means 2022 will go down in history as the year of the three prime ministers.

In a year packed with political turmoil, it’s hard to pick out the most dramatic moments - but safe to say, the unravelling of the UK Government was at the centre of most of it.

The events of the past year – including the Tory “soap opera” of three prime ministers and 147 government resignations and sackings – shows why Scotland should become independent, the SNP’s depute leader has said.

In 2022, the concept of being “ambushed by cake” – the flimsy defence offered by a Tory MP for Boris Johnson breaking lockdown rules – was born as details of parties held at Number 10 during the pandemic emerged.

Civil servant Sue Gray became a familiar name as a result of her damning partygate report which detailed the boozy culture at Downing Street during covid restrictions - including events which went onto 4am and ended up with vomiting and a “minor altercation”.

The National: Sue Gray investigated the government lockdown parties.

READ MORE: The nine most notable Westminster moments in 2022

By June, Johnson’s leadership was crumbling. He survived a confidence vote but the scale of the revolt by his MPs left a damaging wound, which was deepened by his party’s defeat in two by-elections in the north and south of England.

The Prime Minister confidently predicted he would be in Downing Street until the 2030s, but less than two weeks later his downfall was underway as anger grew over the handling of yet another scandal.

After deputy chief whip Chris Pincher quit his role after allegedly assaulting two fellow guests at an exclusive club in London, it was reported that Johnson had been told of previous allegations of “inappropriate” conduct against him, but subsequently given him other government roles.

Within hours a raft of ministerial resignations was underway, led by health secretary Sajid Javid and chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The National: Sajid Javid, Rishi Sunak and Boris JohnsonSajid Javid, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson (Image: PA)

Johnson clung on for 48 hours and along the way sacked Michael Gove for urging him to go – with Downing Street sources describing him as a “snake”.

But he finally quit, blaming the “herd instinct” of Tory MPs for pushing him out of office - neglecting, of course, to mention the wave of sleaze and scandal which had characterised his time in office.

READ MORE: Brits have bleak outlook for life in UK in 2023, poll shows

By rights, that should have been enough political scandal for one year – but the subsequent leadership election somehow landed Liz Truss the top job.

Already the fourth prime minister in six years, she became the shortest serving prime minister in UK history, resigning after just 45 days in office.

Her downfall began with the unveiling of the disastrous mini-budget centred on “Trussonomics” – a concept based on unfunded tax cuts which spooked the markets and triggered a financial crisis.

The National: Former prime minister Liz Truss

After an excruciating press conference or two and an attempt to pin the blame on her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng by sacking him, her political fate was sealed.

During her short-lived premiership, it was King Charles who spoke for the nation when he was caught on camera muttering “Back again? Dear, oh dear,” as he welcomed Truss to Buckingham Palace for her first weekly audience.

And who can forget the tense wait to see if Truss would survive as prime minister longer than a lettuce, thanks to an inspired front page from the Daily Star? It became an international sensation and needless to say, the lettuce won.

Lettuce watch wasn’t even the most bizarre political moment of the year. Neil Parish quit as MP for Tiverton and Honiton in April after admitting to watching pornography twice in parliament.

He claimed the first time was entirely accidental after looking at a tractor website, leading to much mockery on social media.

More recently, there was the spectacle of former health secretary Matt Hancock tucking into camel penis during a gruesome eating contest on ITV reality show I’m a Celebrity.

The National: Matt Hancock Matt Hancock (Image: PA)

Despite the former health secretary achieving third place, there’s been poor sales his pandemic diaries book and reports he’s been forced to drop a search for a celebrity agent – which he has denied.

At the end of the most chaotic of years, it is Sunak who is now installed in Number 10 – despite initially losing the Tory leadership contest and a scandal about his wife’s tax affairs.

The expectation is the Tories won’t call an election in the year ahead, with 2024 expected to be the most likely timing.

In that time Sunak will have to deal with the ongoing crises of the war in Ukraine, rising living costs and a wave of strikes.

He also will have to see off the threat from Labour resurging in UK polls, and deal with the ongoing call for another independence referendum in Scotland - which the SNP says is now more pressing than ever.

READ MORE: Kwasi Kwarteng admits he ‘got carried away’ and Liz Truss ‘blew it’

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “Scotland has had to suffer yet another year of Westminster chaos and economic mismanagement.

“The year of 2022 might yet prove to be one of the worst ever – and has proven why Scotland needs to escape Westminster control by becoming an independent country.

“Inflation has hit record highs, shopping bills have skyrocketed and the UK economy has plummeted into recession. Meanwhile Scotland is dragged along for the ride.

“We have also had to put up with the Tory soap opera of three prime ministers and 147 government resignations.

“This year has been complete and utter chaos from start to finish from this Westminster government.”