A landmark tourist spot that typically draws crowds in the British capital, the London Dungeon has released a set of historical pictures of a Boris Johnson lookalike, including one where he is posing in the stocks.
Separately, “the Prime Minister” is also shown “pictured” in a phone call as part of a project conducted by the PR firm Stripe Communications, which partners with the London attraction, to re-create the “historical punishments” that Boris Johnson could have faced after his use of what was deemed by many to be incendiary language in the Commons.
A lively debate and fiery exchange between Labourites and the Tories unfolded shortly after Johnson suggested that the best way to pay tribute to MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in the midst of the Brexit referendum in 2016, is “to get Brexit done”.
Whatever the dramatic and angry scenes at the Commons on Wednesday, the set of Boris Johnson visual parodies hit a raw nerve with the prime minister’s fellow Tories.
“If we are looking for incitement then this sort of grotesque distortion may have started as a joke but it’s now a sick joke, particularly with the intensity of feeling that there is around politicians at the moment”, MP Nigel Evans told MailOnline, stressing “this is clearly not funny” and expressing hope that the images will be “corrected”.
“I have had an email through today saying someone is looking forward to my demise”, he proceeded, adding that such depictions further promote this.
Evans then brought up the recent use of a decapitated head of Johnson on stage at the Mercury Prize event, asserting that such shows are “playing into a psyche that is very, very disturbing”, he concluded.
Less wordy but even more straightforward remarks arrived in the comment section to the news on Twitter, with one claiming that “it is really bad taste”, while another branded the prime minister lookalike series “disgraceful and disrespectful”.
Getting more ridiculous by the second.— Peter Ord (@ord_peter) September 27, 2019
Disgraceful and disrespectful. Very poor taste
Really bad taste— Elaine (@ElaineDavies943) September 27, 2019
Disgusting, if it had been Swinson we would never hear the end of it, it must be removed.— Carol Hambelton (@CarolHambelton) September 28, 2019
The PR firm behind the project hasn’t issued a formal statement on the matter, while a London Dungeon employee, Jazz Cowler, retorted, agreeing “that yes, they did it” and inviting the audience to refer to her as “a sick leftist”.
The recent Brexit-related controversy centred on Johnson’s fiery escapade, when he labelled a bill to block a no-deal exit as the “Surrender Act”. He vigorously dismissed a Labour MP’s complaint that his language was spawning spats as “humbug”, shortly after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, in his turn, weighed in by complaining that the PM’s choice of words was encouraging people to behave “in a disgraceful and abusive way”.
For instance, MPs on both sides of the Brexit polemic revealed that they had experienced threats online and been branded “traitors” or “fascists”.
Brexit has been postponed several times amid London's failure to internally negotiate divorce terms and is now scheduled to take place on 31 October – a deadline that Johnson is determined to meet whatever it takes, arguing in his signature manner that he would rather prefer to “be dead in a ditch” than okay another delay.
Both London and Brussels are reportedly at loggerheads over to what extent Northern Ireland should be “left behind” in the EU single market and customs union after Brexit and whether there are alternatives to the "backstop" – designed to prevent a hard border from returning to Ireland. How to prevent it "remains the fundamental stumbling block of the Brexit process," according to Dr Donnacha O'Beachain, associate professor at the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University and the author of From Partition to Brexit: The British Government and Northern Ireland.
"What has become painfully clear is that the British Government can not reconcile its intention to leave the European Single Market and Customs Union with maintaining frictionless interaction between both parts of Ireland," remarked Dr O'Beachain, who branded the talks spanning 3.5 years as "bluff and bluster."
The Brexit debate is now unfolding as parliamentarians have returned to Westminster after the Supreme Court ruled that the five-week prorogation was unlawful, although Johnson had stated it was meant to pave the way for the Queen’s iconic Opening of Parliament speech and presentation of the legislative agenda for the coming year. However, campaigners who launched the lawsuit, deemed the suspension as an attempt to stifle opposition to Brexit. Per Dr Donnacha O'Beachain, "betting all on Brexit has made Johnson the darling of the Tory right."