Boris Johnson sparks public horror after posing doing press-ups on newspaper front page

‘Don’t tell me Boris is going to start topless horse-riding like Putin!’

Kate Ng
Sunday 28 June 2020 15:53 BST

A front-page photo of Boris Johnson doing press-ups on the floor of his office in Downing Street has been met with incredulity and embarrassment from some on social media.

Some people have compared the photo on the Mail On Sunday to something Russian president Vladimir Putin would do as a show of physical strength to instil confidence in his leadership.

The prime minister told the newspaper that he was as “fit as a butcher’s dog” and “full of beans” following his experience with coronavirus, which saw him be admitted to intensive care, as he prepares to deliver plans on Tuesday to save Britain’s economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.

The announcement is expected to contain a raft of promises to invest heavily in infrastructure projects, including the building of hospitals, schools, housing developments, roads and rail projects.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Johnson volunteered to do the press-ups “to show you how fit I am” during the interview, and proceeded to “hurl himself to the floor”.

But his enthusiasm to show Britons how strong and fit he is may have backfired, with many calling the photo “embarrassing” and “hilarious”.

One Twitter used commented: “Don’t tell me Boris is going to start topless horse-riding like Putin!

“And don’t forget, Putin is trying to demonstrate to his referendum electorate that he’ll be fit as a dog [sic] when Boris’ premiership is just an old, half-remembered nightmare.”

Another person added: “This isn’t normal. It’s pound shop Putin territory. Britain led by a political David Brent. The sadness of a fragile male ego laid bare.”

Mr Putin famously posed topless on a horse while vacationing in southern Siberia in 2009. The Russian president is fond of carrying out outdoor activities while half-naked, with state television praising the images as emphasising the “physical fitness of the president”.

Another person thinks it might be Scottish premier Nicola Sturgeon showing off her physical prowess next, commenting: “Boris Johnson has done press-ups to show he is fit for the job. Tomorrow, Nicola Sturgeon will be on the parallel bars!”

Mr Johnson used the interview to reassure the British public that the country will “bounce back” from the Covid-19 outbreak, amid concerns from business groups and trade organisations that thousands of jobs are at risk as the UK emerges from its three-month lockdown.

“This has been a huge, huge shock to the country but we’re going to bounce back very well. We want to build our way back to health,” he said.

“If Covid was a lightning flash, we’re about to have the thunderclap of the economic consequences. We’re going to be ready.”

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