Boris Johnson’s bid to delve into the world of TikTok and become more in touch with the British public is already starting to backfire.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister popped up on the popular video-based platform, which has over 1bn active users worldwide, with a 40-second long clip as he launched the new account.
Mr Johnson called on Britons to “tune in to No 10 TikTok” as he said the Government intends to use the platform to share its policies and agenda with the public.
Attempting to make a joke he said “you won’t necessarily catch me dancing” – in a nod to his predecessor Theresa May’s dancing antics. At the 2018 Conservative Party Conference she danced on stage to Abba’s Dancing Queen.
But while the video has racked up over 2.2 million views, the Prime Minister’s attempts to widen his appeal it gave his critics the perfect opportunity to troll him.
The video was quickly flooded with comments calling for Mr Johnson to resign, ridiculing his hairstyle and asking for party planning tips.
One said: “Boris, if you want to help, step down and resign.”
Swathes of other users also called on the Prime Minister to resign, with one suggesting: “Can you do a packing video for when you move out?”
A third asked: “When are you resigning?”
Others derided the Government for making a new social media account when the country is facing a cost of living crisis.
“Country going into recession so the government made a TikTok to help us,” one user said.
Another added: “Cheers Boris, nan’s doing cartwheels to keep warm.”
“People are dying from not being able to afford gas, electric and food and the constant price rises of EVERYTHING!!” said a third.
Someone else asked: “Can you do a TikTok on how people on low income can manage with the higher cost in living?? I’d love to see you cope on minimum wage for the month!”
Mr Johnson launched the page with the promise of “behind-the-scenes insights into what we’re getting done”, which prompted users to ask if they would be getting previously unseen footage of the infamous string of lockdown-breaking parties.
There were comments asking for advice on how to host a discrete house party, tips on DJ’ing and requests to be invited to future parties at No 10.
Meanwhile other users asked for hair tutorials, dancing videos and a tour of Mr Johnson’s newly refurbished flat – which sparked controversy over its funding in what became known as Wallpapergate.
i trawled through the comments to try and find any positive remarks, but failed to find any.
In total, the video has received almost 30,000 comments and been liked by more than 130,000 users.
In the pre-recorded message, Mr Johnson said: “Hi folks, this is Boris Johnson launching the Number 10 TikTok site.
“You won’t necessarily catch me dancing on this site but you will have lots of stuff about what we’re doing to deliver on our priorities, to deliver for you on our agenda of uniting and leveling up our country.
“You’ll get all sorts of messages and content that you might not necessarily get if you’re looking at Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all the other stuff.
“This is intended to be a place where we can put out messages and behind the scenes insight into what we’re getting.
“So tune in to Number 10 TikTok.”
No 10 followed up the video with a second clip of Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, titled: Your priorities are out priorities.”
This video has not proved as popular, with 135,000 views, just under 6,000 likes and 3,400 comments.
A No10 spokesman said: “This is simply another way that we are seeking to get the messages about what the government is doing to to level up the country and create jobs to a wider audience you’ve seen us do that on a variety of social media platforms.”