Prime Minister Boris Johnson is, famously, a serial liar. Most recently, it has emerged that he almost certainly presented mistruths to parliament about both his knowledge of and attendance at events in 2020 which contravened strict lockdown rules set by his government and passed into law.
It is therefore hilariously apposite that Johnson’s premiership is under threat from what is being dubbed the “pork pie putsch” or the “pork pie plot.” “Porky Pies” is after all Cockney rhyming slang for “lies.” “Stop tellin’ me Porkies!” cockneyrhymingslang.co.uk states is, “One of the most well known slangs throughout London and the U.K.”
The Guardian reports that “Red wall” (relatively new, northern) Conservative MPs (of traditionally Labour-held seats) met on Tuesday to decide whether to submit letters calling for a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister. “They gathered in the office of the Rutland and Melton MP Alicia Kearns, giving rise to the nickname the “pork pie plot,” it said.
Johnson is under pressure throughout his own party after appearing not just to breach lockdown rules, but to have repeatedly misled parliament and the nation about his actions and knowledge of events inside his own house. He is due to face MPs in the House of Commons this lunchtime, 19 January, and is under increasing pressure from some quarters to resign ahead of the publication of a report by senior civil servant Sue Gray. Gray’s report is expected to deliver a verdict into the scale of alleged lockdown-breaching events at 10 Downing Street during the pandemic.
And so it seems the pork pie is Johnson’s nemesis, a hot water crust filled with savoury pork meat and jelly, from which the PM cannot make an escape. While it is now widely known that Johnson is well acquainted with porkies, it’s perhaps lesser-known that he has previous with Melton Mowbray pork pies specifically.
He misattributed the food, which has Protected Geographical Indication, as a potential beneficiary of Brexit’s necessitating a trade deal with Donald Trump in 2019. His assertion was swiftly dismissed by the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association. “Telling porkies? Boris Johnson’s Melton Mowbray pork pie claim fails truth test,” went the Guardian headline.
And that’s not all. Rumours circulated ahead of the 2019 General Election that nervousness in the Johnson camp about the prospect of him losing his seat in the constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, which he has held since 2005, forced him to contemplate moving to stand in the constituency of ... Melton and Rutland, which centres on the town of Melton Mowbray, home of the pork pie. It did not come to pass.
Having made a career out of telling porkies, Johnson is now truly in hot water. Will he finally eat his words?