A small town in England is planning to burn a comic effigy of Boris Johnson as part of their annual bonfire night celebrations.
The flamboyant ex-Foreign Secretary and leading light of the 2016 campaign for Britain to leave the European Union – running shorts, cycle helmet and all – will be burnt on Saturday in Edenbridge, Kent.
The former foreign secretary is shown eating a slice of an “EU cake” and wearing his signature cycling helmet. By his feet are depictions of the red Brexit buses which claimed Britain sent £350 million (€399 million) a week to the EU which could be used to fund the NHS.
Guy Fawkes Night is annually held on November 5. It is sometimes known as Bonfire Night and marks the anniversary of the discovery of a plot organised by Catholic conspirators to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605. Many people light bonfires and set off fireworks.
Several have started to burn celebrity effigies in recent years: past Edenbridge victims have included Donald Trump and former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
“Boris Johnson has been near the top of the list for the last few years running,” said Laura Lawrence of the Edenbridge Bonfire Society.
“He does have a tendency to put his foot in it and I think perhaps this year he might have put his foot in it one too many times and that’s why he’s been chosen as our celebrity effigy for 2018.”
The 11-metre high effigy took artist Andrea Deans six days to make. He wears a “90” rosette to mark the bonfire society’s 90th anniversary and is portrayed as having his EU cake and eating it.
During Vote Leave’s EU Referendum campaign, the buses carried slogans claiming Britain sent £350m a week to the EU which could be used to fund the NHS.
“I wanted him to come across scruffy because that’s what he appears most of the time, wearing his suit and a helmet at the same time and you can see him running in really peculiar shorts, that’s why we put those on,” she told reporters
Bonfire societies in the UK are known for burning effigies of high-profile, political figures during their celebrations which include torch lit processions and fireworks displays.
The largest event takes place in Lewes, Sussex, each year on 5 November when as many as 60,000 people converge on the town for processions by six societies which keep the identities of their effigies a closely guarded secret.