The Conservative Party leadership fight finally came to an end today (July 23, 2019). Boris Johnson was elected not only as leader of the party, but, on July 24, he’ll become the Prime Minister of the UK. Some have argued that the circumstances under which Johnson was elected are problematic, as he hasn’t been voted in by the country as a whole, but just Conservative Party members. As he was announced the winner, many took to Twitter to express the fact that Johnson’s politics and actions don’t represent them. And these #NotMyPM tweets from women show that Johnson's track record of disregarding women and minorities hasn’t gone unnoticed.
It was down to 159,000 Tory Party members to decide between Johnson and Jeremy Hunt in this race, a figure that represents just 0.14% of the UK population, Metro reports. That means that 99.86% of the population didn’t get a say in who our new Prime Minister is.
He may have won the leadership race, but soon after the result was announced, #NotMyPM started to build momentum on Twitter. "Boris Johnson does not speak for me, or millions of other Brits," Liberal Democrat MEP Counsellor Luisa Porritt wrote. "A philandering, lying, reckless individual who undermined Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's fight for freedom and is willing to see the UK economy & society drop off a cliff with a no deal Brexit. #NotMyPM." And she wasn’t alone.
Other politicians, campaigners, and members of the public joined Porritt in #NotMyPM.
Many pointed to Johnson’s casual use of homophobic and racial slurs, the fact that he’s lied while being scrutinised for his own actions, and the complete mismanagement of the situation with the imprisoned British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe as to why they refuse to accept Johnson as their Prime Minister.
Author and Journalist Linda Green wrote: "Today the UK has sent a message to the world that you can be sacked for lying (twice), be derided as unfit for office by your ex-boss, have used racist language multiple times, but as long as you went to Eton and Oxford, 0.3% of the population can make you our PM."
In a time when it feels like the nation is more divided than ever over Brexit, and with racism and hate crime on the rise, people are finding it hard to see how Johnson, one of the most divisive characters in British politics, will unify the UK. Once instance that sticks in people's mind is from 2018, when he used his column in the Telegraph to write about his opposition to Denmark's ban on burqas and niqabs in public places yet he still said he thought it’s "absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes."
While it would be very convenient for Johnson if these blunders, along with others he's committed over the years (including describing Olympic athletes as "semi-naked women ... glistening like wet otters"), could be forgotten, this hashtag seems to prove that won't be the case.