Ukraine endorses Johnson for UK PM – then backtracks
The Ukrainian government has posted a message on its official Twitter account, which some saw as a direct endorsement of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson returning to power. The now-deleted meme, reading “Better call Boris,” quickly drew flak, however, with some Britons even crying “meddling.”
The former premier has been named by the pollster YouGov as one of the favorites in the race for 10 Downing Street after his successor, Liz Truss resigned on Thursday.
The post featured the main character of AMC’s TV drama Better Call Saul holding a cut-out of Johnson with an inscription “Better Call Boris” next to it.
Appearing on the Ukrainian government’s official account on Thursday, the message quickly attracted international attention, and a fair share of criticism, before being deleted the same day.
Steve Peers, a professor of EU law at the University of Essex, tweeted: “Have you considered not commenting on other countries’ political processes – with a view to not alienating your broad base of support, and because you simply don’t understand what’s going on there?”
Another social media user wrote: “Very inappropriate to meddle in a country’s internal affairs in this way.”
“Better call Boris what?! This tweet has to be a bad joke and not sure what intention of it is,” one more netizen chimed in.
Others pointed out Ukrainian officials’ odd choice of the character to base their meme on, as the protagonist Saul Goodman is portrayed in the series as an unethical attorney.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said he was “rather surprised” by the tweet, adding, however, that this will not affect his party’s unwavering support of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s military offensive.
Boris Johnson, who was forced to step down in early September following a series of scandals, had developed a close rapport with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky during his time in office. He was one of the most vocal supporters of Kiev.
Johnson’s successor, Liz Truss, survived only six weeks in power, and had to resign on Thursday amid mounting pressure from fellow Conservatives.
The party is now scrambling to elect a new leader, with Johnson widely touted as one of the likely candidates.