EastEnders theme tune added to moment Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street
BBC

As Boris Johnson’s premiership was rocked by Covid fines, accusations of dishonesty and his unlawful proroguing of parliament – to name just a few of his political scandals – there was one Twitter account ridiculing his attempt at government every step of the way.

‘Parody Boris’, set up in May 2019 and tweeting away at the handle @Parody_PM, has been forced to undergo a bit of a renovation – after Mr Johnson’s time as prime minister finally ended on Tuesday.

In a parting speech typical of the charismatic politician, he compared himself to “one of those booster rockets that has fulfilled its function”, before heading up to Balmoral in Scotland to tender his resignation to the Queen and pass the job over to Liz Truss.

Asked whether they thought Mr Johnson would ever make a political comeback, the person behind Parody PM – who preferred to remain anonymous – tells Indy100: “Sadly I do think this is possible and certainly will be in his thinking, but it would take a very particular set of circumstances for this to happen, so I am hopeful that it won’t.

“I suspect he will set about making his fortune by capitalising on his connections and notoriety, so fingers crossed that he gets too attached to that to bother with another stint in No 10.”

The comments from the individual, who works in the arts sector and is based in the south east, come after reports of a plot to have another leadership vote at Christmas to restore Mr Johnson as prime minister once more.

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Political journalists and commentators also pointed out the outgoing PM’s reference to Cincinnatus in his speech – the Roman leader who returned to his farm after serving his country, only to rule again when he was called upon to do so.

Mr Johnson’s statement also drew upon his government’s ‘achievements’, which included ‘getting Brexit done’ even though there’s still issues with the Northern Ireland protocol, and the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine which was arguably down to the work of the NHS.

We tried to list BoJo’s greatest successes as PM ourselves, but that didn’t go so well…

“I’m not sure I could pick a favourite tweet [of mine],” admits Parody PM, “but one particularly relevant one from after Boris Johnson resigned would be: ‘My main achievement in office has been to lower the bar or who can become prime minister so far that even Liz Truss can be taken seriously’.”

The tweets from Parody PM, however, are to be taken as being more tongue-in-cheek. “Politics over the last few years has been fascinating and terrifying in equal measure,” they say. “The actions of the government and individuals within it have been quite literally beyond parody.

“A lot of the time all I do is state truthfully something which has happened or been said. I try to phrase it in an amusing way, but most of the time all I’m really doing is telling the truth.

“In terms of what I tweet about, the first thing is to identify an event or story. So I follow lots of journalists and commentators to try to keep up to date with what is happening. Thousands of people will be commenting on the same basic story, so the trick is just to find a way to comment through the lens of the Prime Minister, ideally in an amusing way.”

They go on to give a few examples, such as Liz Truss’ u-turn on help for poorer households during the Tory leadership contest:

And the announcement of eye-watering profits from energy companies:

“The sort of things that I am commenting on are often very serious and not funny at all in themselves,” they explain. “I think people appreciate being able to have a laugh at things which might otherwise make them cry.”

In the case of the person behind Parody PM, an interest in politics came after the “shock” of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union in 2016. “I played around with a personal Twitter account, but when you have very few followers it’s hard to know if your tweets are of any interest to anyone, because very few people see them.

“Then I wrote a few tweets on behalf of an established spoof account with quite a few followers and they got a lot of traction, so I decided to try out a couple of parody accounts of my own, based on people I really disliked and thought deserved to have the p*** taken out of them.

“The Boris Johnson one was the one that took off, not least because he was high profile, so there were always things he did or said that I could react to.”

Except now it’s hard for us all to keep mocking a prime minister who is no longer in the top job, but thankfully, Parody PM has gone under a bit of a revamp.

“My Twitter handle is Parody_PM. This was chosen so I can easily take on the persona of whoever is prime minister. So on 5 September my account regenerated Dr Who-style into Liz Truss,” they said.

Long may the mockery continue!

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