Claims Boris Johnson heckled in Greece without evidence

16 August 2022
What was claimed

Italian TV showed a British man shouting, "Get back to work you fat ponce" at Boris Johnson while he was on holiday in Greece.

Our verdict

There’s no evidence that this incident actually happened. The claim appears to have originated from a Twitter account previously accused of making false claims.

Claims that Boris Johnson was “booed and heckled by British holidaymakers” while on holiday in Greece have gone viral on social media.

The posts claim that the Prime Minister was shown on Italian TV being shouted at by a British man, who reportedly told him “Get back to work you fat ponce”.

Various versions of the claim have received thousands of shares across Twitter and Facebook. However, there’s no evidence that the incident ever took place.

Mr Johnson is currently on holiday in Greece, and videos taken by a member of the public show him in a supermarket with his wife Carrie.

These videos are the only public footage we found of Mr Johnson in Greece, and at no point in the footage does anyone boo him or shout insults in English.

Full Fact contacted Italian fact checking organisation Pagella to ask if they are aware of any footage of the Prime Minister being broadcast on Italian TV. They told us they were not aware of the claims and had found no evidence to support them.

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Claims came from Twitter account

Claims of the Prime Minister being “booed and heckled” while in Greece appear to have originated from “RS Archer”—a Twitter account which has been accused of fabricating stories and quotes. We have fact checked other content from this account previously.

Full Fact has contacted the account to ask for any evidence or a source for the claim, but we have not received any reply.

While the original tweet making the claim,  posted on 14 August, has received around 2,000 retweets, an identically worded tweet posted by another account around half an hour later has been retweeted more than 13,000 times, including by various popular accounts such as Jonathan Pie and Omid Djalili, and liked by more than 53,000 people.

The latter tweet also includes screenshots from the videos showing Mr Johnson in the supermarket, despite the fact that no insults could be heard in the original footage.

Image courtesy of Number 10

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