Claim: WhatsApp users claim Boris Johnson was interrogated by the British police for allegedly breaching a COVID-19 lockdown law.
The video is a parody created from snippets of a series titled Line of Duty, fused with different public speeches of Boris Johnson to appear as though he faced interrogations for his alleged lockdown breaches.
A 7-minute video circulating on WhatsApp platforms in Ghana shows the former United Kingdom prime minister Boris Johnson being interrogated by a team called AC-12 on the premise of breaking a law. Some WhatsApp users, on account of believing the content of the video, have argued that public officials in Ghana must face the law as Boris Johnson is supposedly doing in the video. However, others have noted the inconsistencies in the video and questioned the originality of the interrogation, and concluded the video was unreal.
By analysing key frames of the video on the InVID verification tool, DUBAWA traced the video to a Twitter post by Led by Donkeys posted on 13 April 2022. It was the exact 7-minute, 17-second subtitled video in circulation on WhatsApp. It also showed that Led By Donkeys was the originator of the video. The video was a parody that pieced together different public speeches of Boris Johnson. The video’s intent appears well understood by all who commented, quote-tweeted and interacted with the post.
History of Led by Donkeys
The profile of Led By Donkeys shows that they are a British political campaign group established by four friends in December 2018. They are also an anti-Brexit group that criticises the actions of Boris Johnson’s administration. As their Twitter profile describes, they are into art, activism, and accountability. Also, a careful search of their Twitter media showed that they regularly use satire to hold leaders accountable through parody videos. One of their tweets posted on 29 June 2022 with a photo grab from the same parody video explains how they use humour to challenge those in power. The caption reads, “Led By Donkeys has come a long way from our days deploying a bucket of wallpaper paste and a ladder. But creativity and humour are still at the heart of all we do to challenge those in power.”
The Concept of the video
The Independent highlights that the video is snippets from the British police procedural television series ‘Line of Duty’ used against different Boris Johnson public speeches. This is intended to portray that Boris Johnson was being held accountable and interrogated for breaching the COVID-19 lockdown laws passed as he has been alleged to be involved with a Downing Street party scandal during the period. The interrogation team was played by Line of Duty’s famous anti-corruption police team, “AC-12” cast.
The Independent publication reads,
“In a spoof video made by Clips for Donkeys, extracts of the Prime Minister addressing the public are juxtaposed with snippets from Line of Duty to make it look as if he is being questioned for attending a gathering that many believe was against the law.”
The Independent details the different clips from the television series, the characters of the series who appeared in the clip and further narrated the other public appearances and speeches made by Johnson in response to the supposed interrogation.
The British community seems to understand Led by Donkeys’ parody video of Boris Johnson facing interrogations by Line of Duty’s AC-12. However, appearing on Ghanaian community platforms, the video’s intent appears to be lost to some. Yet as was claimed by other Ghanaians, it is not real. The video is a fusion of excerpts from the Line of Duty series and public speeches made by Boris Johnson.