A Massive Billboard Mocking Boris Johnson With His Own Words Has Appeared In Bolton

Laura O'Neill Laura O'Neill

A Massive Billboard Mocking Boris Johnson With His Own Words Has Appeared In Bolton

A double-billboard mocking Boris Johnson with his own words has been put up in Bolton.

The giant billboard was put up on Egerton Street, Farnworth, by protest group Led By Donkeys, who accused the Tory leadership hopeful of ‘thermonuclear hypocrisy’.

The billboard quotes a comment made by Johnson in an article he penned for The Telegraph in 2007. In the article, he criticised the Labour party for not holding a general election when Gordon Brown took over from Tony Blair.

Words that have come back to haunt him as, during a BBC TV debate earlier this month, Johnson dismissed calls for a general election following the current leadership contest.

Speaking to Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, he said: “No one in Parliament wants a general election.”

But when Maitlis quoted his statement about Brown, he replied: “He wasn’t taking over in the context of a national political crisis where we need to get Brexit done.”

The billboard is just one of more than 60 that have appeared across the UK. The billboards are the brainchild of Led By Donkeys, four men, Ben Stewart, James Sadri, Oliver Knowles and Will Rose, who said they want to ‘highlight the hypocrisy of our politicians on Brexit’.

The posters share direct quotes from politicians including, Nigel Farage, Jacob Reese-Mog, Theresa May and David Cameron, in the form of Tweets.

And even Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t been spared, as a billboard popped up in Manchester’s Chancellor Lane recently depicting an empty Tweet, which represents Corbyn’s silence during the referendum.

And in Rochdale, a billboard sporting a quote from Michael Gove reads:

“The day after we vote to leave, we hold all the cards and we can choose the path we want.”

Which according to Led By Donkeys Gove said in a speech at Vote Leave HQ in April.

A spokesman for Led By Donkeys said:

“When we started this we were four friends who wanted to highlight the hypocrisy of our politicians on Brexit.

“Armed with ladders, roller brushes and a treasure trove of damning statements by our leaders, we slapped up their biggest lies onto posters around the country.

“We all have family, friends and loved ones who voted Leave. Many of them believed the words of these politicians. By putting up their quotes as billboards we can all compare the promises made with reality.”

The lads funded and pasted up the first eight billboards themselves in what they called a ‘guerilla operation’, but their work and family commitments meant they were unable to carry on the campaign alone. The group then set up a Crowd Funding page with the intention of raising £10,000, which would allow them to put up ten billboards for a month.

The spokesman said:

“This guerrilla operation has its limitations.

“Firstly, the people who own those billboards generally tear ours down or cover them up after a day.

“Secondly, we only have so many arms that can do this work (and small kids who need our attention too). And thirdly, we’ve got loads more amazing quotes that need to be out there.

“So we proposed to do something different: to turn this guerrilla operation into one of the biggest people-funded billboard protests this country has ever seen.”

The page hit its £10,000 target in three hours, passed £50,000 in 36 hours and went on to raise £150,000 in four weeks.

The spokesman said:

“It’s unbelievable what we’ve managed to raise together so far – £150,000 in four weeks. Incredible work everyone. That means over 150 billboards pasted across the country reminding all of us of the lies we were told by the charlatans driving this Brexit car crash.

“So by popular demand (and some tinkering of the system by our friends at Crowdfunder.co.uk) we’ve managed to keep this fundraiser open for another month and have set a new target of £200,000.

“The billboards themselves are being seen by hundreds of thousands of people in areas that voted Leave and the media coverage has reached millions more.

“Thanks to all of you who’ve been chipping in. To us it doesn’t really matter if you put in a couple of quid or a grand – we’re just excited that what started as four of us with a ladder is now over 5,000 people strong.”

To donate click here.

Click here to see all 60 billboards. An interactive map which shows the location of every billboard is also available here.

Also published on Medium.

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