Boris Johnson effigy to be burned at annual bonfire event
An effigy of Boris Johnson will be burned at an annual bonfire celebration.
Edenbridge Bonfire Society revealed the identity of its celebrity Guy on Wednesday, saying the “blundering” ex-foreign secretary was the top choice owing to his “continuing habit” of hitting the headlines with “never-ending gaffes”.
Every year the Kent society picks an infamous public figure to poke fun at during its celebrations, this year being held on Saturday.
The 36ft effigy will go up in flames alongside a traditional figure of Guy Fawkes.
The giant replica of Mr Johnson is wearing Hawaiian-style boxer shorts with a tight-fitting blue jacket, mismatched socks and a cycle helmet.
He is holding a cake decorated in the style of the EU flag, from which he has taken a Union flag-coloured slice.
By his feet are depictions of the red Brexit buses which claimed Britain sent £350 million a week to the EU which could be used to fund the NHS.
He is also wearing a rosette symbolising 90 years since the society was founded.
Artist Andrea Deans, who painted the creation, said: “As with last year there were many strong contenders for this year’s celebrity Guy, particularly in the political world.
“This year Boris was the obvious option, plus he’s great to caricature and I’ve wanted to paint him for a long time.”
Society chairman Bill Cummings said: “Our message to Mr Johnson is that you cannot have your cake and eat it. We hope Mr Johnson will appreciate the humour contained in our caricature and take it in the good spirit with which it is intended.”
Last year Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein was the standout pick after a string of allegations of sexual assault on female employees and movie stars emerged.
In 2016 Donald Trump was the “overwhelming choice” for the steel-framed model, made days before the then Republican US presidential candidate went head-to-head with Democrat Hillary Clinton and won the election.
In 2015 a model of scandal-hit former Fifa president Sepp Blatter was burned.
Other well-known figures to have the dubious honour of being the celebrity Guy include Katie Hopkins, Wayne Rooney, Jonathan Ross, Cherie Blair, Katie Price, Lance Armstrong, Gordon Brown, John Prescott, Anne Robinson, Saddam Hussein and Russell Brand.
More than 10,000 people attend the annual event, with families visiting from London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent.
Organised by a team of volunteers and raising money for charity, the evening begins at 6.30pm with a torch-lit carnival procession through Edenbridge High Street.
This is led by the Bishop of the Bonfire, his choirboys and the society’s effigies as well as visiting societies from Sussex.
The evening ends with a firework display before the effigies are burnt.
The society has been poking fun at the famous and infamous for more than 20 years.
The identity of the effigy is picked a week before the event and is usually decided based on who is the most prominent figure in the news at the time.
Constructing the frame and decorating it with emulsion paint takes four to five days.