Judging by the audience reaction when the BBC’s Any Questions came from Devizes, those assembled in Ceres Hall for the live broadcast on Friday have had enough of Boris Johnson.

Although it is arguable whether the response of mere scores of residents can be taken as anything other than just a straw poll of the feelings of the town, but the loudest and most sustained applause came after panellist Dame Margaret Hodge denounced the Prime Minister as a “liar” and his Government “corrupt”.

The Radio 4 flagship programme of debate and political discussion began with a bang as the first question put to the panel was “Boris Johnson has been rumbled, when should he resign?”

First up to answer was Conservative peer Lord Willetts, who said it was important to wait for the results of the inquiry into the allegations of lockdown rule-busting parties at No 10. He said Mr Johnson had a vision for boosting the economy of Britain and added “but at the moment I am cross that we have found ourselves bogged down in a series of totally-absurd episodes.”

His answer drew light and polite clapping.

The programme’s presenter Chris Mason then put the question to Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge.

She said: “We have reached a turning point. Boris Johnson’s prime ministership of this country has left us in a really dangerous position.

“He’s a man who lies with impunity, he refuses to play by the rules, he systematically undermines all the checks and balances that we’ve got on our democracy.

“I think that’s all really dangerous and I’ve come to the view that what Boris Johnson has led us into is actually what I would call corrupt government. Our country deserves better than anybody like Boris Johnson as our prime minister.”

Lively and sustained applause, and cheers, from the Wiltshire audience greeted Dame Margaret’s reply, by far the most audibly-enthusiastic reaction to any answer to the questions on the night, which included: how well was the Government handling the new Omicron variant, what will the planet look like in 1,000 years and was it time to declare a truce in the war on drugs.

In answer to that question, Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party, said that if the Greens came to power availability of the most dangerous drugs would be regulated in their supply but the less dangerous “might be available in the same ways that alcohol and tobacco are now.”

The fourth member of the panel, environmentalist Ben Goldsmith, said the war on drugs had failed as its victims were always the poorest people and that the drugs problem should be treated as a health issue.

It was the first time that Any Questions had been broadcast from Devizes in 11 years. The event was organised as part of the Devizes Arts Festival.