A video purportedly showing outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson being questioned on topics of corruption is viral on social media as an actual footage Johnson being grilled on the accusations of corruption he has faced during his tenure as prime minister. Posts sharing the video lauded the efforts by the law enforcement to carry out such a questioning of a prime minister, and stated that such questioning will never happen with leaders in India.
BOOM found these posts to be misleading; while the accusations mentioned in the video are true, the video itself is spoof footage made by British political activist and satire artist group Led by Donkeys, by merging clips from British police procedural television drama Line of Duty, and actual footage of Johnson from various public appearances.
The video, 7.17 minute in length, was found being shared on Facebook with the following caption:
"*INVESTIGATION OF BORRIS JOHNSON - Ex. PRIME MINISTER OF UNITED KINGDOM*
*CAN'T IMAGINE.... THIS HAPPENING IN INDIA or Somewhere else..*
*Salute to Brave Police & Investigation Officers of UK*
*Other countries & their investigation agencies must take a lesson from this👆👆"
Click here to view the above post.
A similar search on Twitter revealed that the same video is viral with similar claims on the microblogging platform as well.
BOOM observed that footage showing the questioning was filled with dramatic effects, including background music and highly dramatised shots of the people questioning Johnson.
Furthermore, we recognised the people conducting the questioning as British actors Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar. All three actors are part of a police procedural television drama called Line of Duty.
We then searched for keywords 'Line of Duty questioning boris johnson' and came across a video by The Guardian, which spoke about a similar spoof video made using actual footage of public appearances by Johnson, mixed with clips from Line of Duty by a satirical art group called Led by Donkeys.
In this video, Johnson is seen being grilled on flouting COVID-19 restrictions, while the rest of the country was on lockdown. The caption stated, "The PM is questioned by AC-12 officers about lockdown breaches in a spoof episode of Line of Duty by the satirical artists Led By Donkeys. The video was posted on Twitter on Tuesday and was swiftly retweeted by the Line of Duty writer Jed Mercurio with the words 'brilliant work'.".
Taking a cue from the caption, we traced the official YouTube channel of Led by Donkeys, where we found the original version of the viral footage.
Their verified Twitter handle is also filled with clips from such spoof videos of Johnson being questioned by the Line of Duty characters.
We have reached out to Led by Donkeys for a comment, and the article will be updated if and when we get a response.
Earlier this year, a similar spoof video made by Led by Donkeys had gone viral, where Johnson is purportedly seen being questioned by the same characters on breaking COVID-19 restrictions to attend private gathering, which was then debunked by BOOM.
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