Boris Johnson has a rather emotional face and when he is caught out in an awkward moment he often responds with an unfortunate smirk.

Whether he feels uncomfortable or finds questions from journalists funny - who knows. But it isn’t a great look when the leader of a country responds to scrutiny with a titter.

The latest scrutiny Johnson is facing is about whether he attended a rule-breaking party in May 2020 and while he has smirked when questioned about it, he has also smirked on far more occasions.

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Here are just five times when he looked a bit too insolent for most people’s liking.

BYOB party

It has been alleged that the PM was one of the attendees at a “bring-your-own-booze’ event in the Number 10 garden at the height of lockdown in May 2020 in which around 100 members of staff made “the most of the lovely weather” at a time in which people could only meet one on one outside.

An email leaked to ITV News shows the event took place but it does not prove that Johnson swung by.

But when asked about it, he smirked, laughed and said: “All that, as you know, is the subject of a proper investigation by Sue Gray.”

Flat refurbishment

Another scandal that has dogged Johnson’s premiership is how he funded the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.

Last week, Kathryn Stone, who oversees the code of conduct and rules for MPs, told the prime minister she will not launch a fresh inquiry into the matter but Johnson was also criticised by his ethics adviser, Christopher Geidt, for failing to check for missing WhatsApp messages crucial to his investigation.

“I followed the ministerial guidance at all times,” Johnson told reports, with a smirk, when questioned about the saga.

Covid press briefing

In November, the PM appeared to smirk at a press briefing about coronavirus - according to Piers Morgan at least.

He took to Twitter to slam Johnson for his manner and said he came across as “glib”.


At an important climate change conference last year, Johnson appeared to fall asleep, sat maskless next to David Attenborough and made a few jokes and gaffes.

And the international media were not impressed.

French publication Le Point said Johnson had indulged in his “usual humorous banter”, the Guardian reported. “Wide-eyed, we observe Johnson’s smirk; his face recalls that of a dad cracking one of his favourite jokes,” it said.

Brexit trade deals

In 2019, Johnson was quizzed about whether he would manage to secure important trade deals with the EU in time for Britain’s formal departure from the bloc.

Speaking to Sky News’ Beth Rigby, he smirked at the prospect of not securing deals and said: “The possibility you allude to simply will not happen.”

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