Boris Johnson has dressed up again - this time as a police officer - and it’s earned him comparisons to Mr Benn, the beloved cartoon character who dons a different costume and persona in every episode.
The prime minister was pictured wearing a police beanie, vest, and jacket during a visit to Merseyside Police headquarters this morning ahead of the release of the government’s 10-year drugs strategy.
Speaking to reporters in his get-up, he said that as well as helping drug users into rehab, the government is planning to “come down hard” on those pushing unlawful narcotics.
But the government’s drug strategy isn’t what has chins wagging this morning. Instead, people are comparing the prime minister to Mr Benn, a famously busy Jack-of-all-trades.
Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter
In light of Johnson’s latest game of dress-up, we’ve picked out our favourite costumes from the Conservative cosplayer.
Given we’ve been in a pandemic for the best part of two years, so it’s no surprise that Johnson has accumulated a vast number of Covid-related costumes.
He’s been pictured several times posing as a vaccine technician and scientist (perhaps a mad scientist? He certainly has the mop of hair for it…)
2. British Gas engineer
During a visit to the British Gas Training Academy in Leicester in September, Johnson dressed up in the company’s garb.
Hilariously, a Twitter user managed to prank British Gas by claiming Johnson didn’t fix their boiler, ate all their biscuits, and “left a giant turd” in the toilet.
In 2019 the prime minister donned an apron as he served Christmas lunch to British troops in Estonia.
During his stint as foreign secretary, Johnson wore full army camouflage as he rode a tank during a visit to Estonia in 2017.
The UK’s Russian embassy made fun of Johnson’s joyride in the military vehicle, tweeting that Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov “doesn’t need to ride a tank to make his point.” Ouch.
FM Lavrov doesn’t need to ride a tank to make his point. He’d rather rely on consistency of message and evolving co… https://t.co/igCWVycUNj— Russian Embassy, UK (@Russian Embassy, UK) 1504863246
When he’s not manufacturing Covid vaccines, chasing after thieves, or fixing boilers, he also has a creative side he likes to indulge in every now and then. Last year he was papped painting machinery yellow at Appledore Shipyard in Devon.
In 2019 he was spotted wrangling a cod during the general election campaign visit to Grimsby Fish Market.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images
7. Factory worker/taste tester
He’s even put his packaging skills to the test while visiting Rodda’s Clotted Cream factory in Redruth in 2019.
He was joined by the now-environment secretary George Eustice before enjoying the fruits of his labour like the cat that got the cream as he switched gears to another role as a taste tester.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images
POOL/AFP via Getty Images
8. Delivery driver
Johnson was spotted behind the wheel of an electric lorry during a visit to the Travis Perkins builders merchants in Ruislip last month.
While he was there, he served a few customers at the till and carried around bags of concrete, for some reason.
If he enjoyed driving, we hear there are some vacancies in the haulage sector…
Given all the different occupations Johnson has had, Twitter had a field day when they spotted that he now can add “police officer” to his ever-growing CV. Like Mr Benn, he certainly has had a varied career.
@SkyNews Hello boys and girls and welcome to today’s episode of Mr Benn. Today @BorisJohnson’s going to dress up an… https://t.co/yB1j1U03LZ— Alex (@Alex) 1638782406
“Someone please cancel this new series of Mr Benn” @davemacladd Mr Benn was a 1970’s children’s animation. In each… https://t.co/Shv6aQCFbj— Stefan Simanowitz (@Stefan Simanowitz) 1638788653
I wonder what sort of adventure Mr Benn will have today? https://t.co/u2FhpOdrFh https://t.co/ogD8v05U4Q— Stephen Clarke (@Stephen Clarke) 1638785026
Is Johnson’s second job being a strip-o-gram? https://t.co/zRZYZvEPPR— Peter Bone (@Peter Bone) 1638795790
A lot of bad things have happened this year but comparing Johnson to that fine fine gentleman Mr Benn is the one th… https://t.co/Me1wR3FtmW— Frank Cottrell-Boyce (@Frank Cottrell-Boyce) 1638787623
Mr Benn ... or Mr Bean? https://t.co/CFYyw7hZGN— Paul Dalrymple 💙 (@Paul Dalrymple 💙) 1638786830
He's just taking the piss now. He wears so many different uniforms, he makes Mr Benn jealous!!! #drugs #MrBenn https://t.co/2uRrVhWqUd— AngryFromManchester (@AngryFromManchester) 1638785853
I love how politicians dress up in different work outfits like Mr Benn https://t.co/L5MN4XIEOc— Siinfekl (@Siinfekl) 1638787122
He quite literally thinks hes Mr Benn doesnt he. then suddenly the shopkeeper appeared and.....… https://t.co/QEFtXq8wqn— Just An Ordinary Bloke (@Just An Ordinary Bloke) 1638783776
@therealmrbenn I remember that episode- Mr Benn steps into the PM’s shoes and does a much better job https://t.co/RM59BlHO5n— Moley𝕋𝕙𝕖𝕄𝕠𝕝𝕖😷 (@Moley𝕋𝕙𝕖𝕄𝕠𝕝𝕖😷) 1638790902
Mr Benn himself even weighed in on the Twitter discourse. When he spotted his name trending on Twitter today, he guessed it was down to the prime minister’s high jinks.
He also replied to a Twitter user who defended Mr Benn against the Johnson comparisons.
When a great man speaks, we should all pay attention! Thank you @frankcottrell_b Sir. You are a Gentleman. *doffs b… https://t.co/m5bjvwVJS3— Mr Benn (@Mr Benn) 1638791075
Johnson’s penchant for dressing up isn’t news to Mr Benn, as in 2019 the cartoon suggested creating a new political party we could all get behind - the Fancy Dress Party.
But Johnson isn’t the only politician to indulge in a little bit of make-believe. In October, Labour leader Keir Starmer crashed a lorry in an awkward PR moment and as you can imagine, the jokes wrote themselves.
This adds a whole new dimension to the recent “second job” controversy amongst MPs after the fallout of the Owen Paterson scandal.
What will Johnson’s next adventure be?
The Conversation (0)