As Boris Johnson tackles a growing list of Tory scandals, online pranksters are putting a comedic spin on his political woes.
Countless parodies poking fun at the prime minister’s response to the Downing Street “partygate” revelations are racking up millions of views on social media.
After the “nail-biting” season six finale of Line of Duty was watched by 12m people in May, wrote The Guardian’s culture correspondent Harriet Sherwood, a spoof inspired by the BBC cop show was watched by more than seven million within two days of appearing on Twitter this week.
Created by satirical artists Led by Donkeys, the four-minute clip appears to show “AC-12’s feared officers interrogating the man at the heart of a real-life scandal gripping the nation” – Johnson. The spoof has been retweeted by tens of thousands of people including Line of Duty writer Jed Mercurio, who called it “brilliant work”.
Johnson told Sky News on Tuesday that “nobody told me” that a lockdown-breaking party in the No. 10 garden on 20 May 2020 was an “event that is against the rules”.
The PM’s excuse was met with widespread ridicule, and Twitter users stuck the knife in further with paradies using The Killers’ song Somebody Told Me.
TikTok comedian and satirical songwriter Munya Chawawa also took musical inspiration to ridicule the BYO bash, in a video apparently showing him dancing to Usher’s hit track Yeah! in the Downing Street garden.
“One for your next secret garden party,” wrote Chawawa in a swipe at Johnson above the tweeted clip.
Comedy duo Sugarcoated Sisters are also racking up views with their music video for Toxic Tory, a parody set to the tune of Britney Spears’ Toxic that accuses the PM of having “no shame”.
BBC comedy panel show Would I Lie to You has been getting in on the fun too. In a twist of a regular segment where teams try to determine if an opposition panellist is lying about something personal or embarrassing, the showmakers photoshopped Johnson proclaiming his innocence to create what The Mirror heralded as an “absolutely iconic” clip.
The studio audience and panellists including David Mitchell and Gaby Logan erupted into “raucous” laughter as an edited-in Johnson claimed: “As far as I’m aware, to the best of my knowledge, we have followed the rules throughout.”
The parody then cut to Peep Show star Mitchell, who quipped: “For me, it’s the things that he said that aren’t believable. If I had to pin it down, it would be all of the things that he said.”