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Lighter political moments of 2022: From Liz Truss bust to waxwork Boris Johnson

(Wilfrid Wood/Peter Byrne/PA)
(Wilfrid Wood/Peter Byrne/PA)

Politics dominated the news agenda in 2022, with numerous cabinet reshuffles and Matt Hancock’s unexpected arrival in the Australian jungle sparking online reactions from the public.

Here is a look at some of the lighter political moments from the year.

– Boris Johnson appears outside a jobcentre after his resignation as Conservative Leader

A wax figure of former prime minister Boris Johnson appeared outside a Jobcentre Plus in Blackpool in July after his resignation, which gave rise to a flurry of photos and questioning looks from members of the public who flocked to take a picture with it or lean in for a closer look.

Boris Johnson resignation
A wax figure of Boris Johnson outside the Jobcentre Plus in Blackpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

The wax lookalike, made by Madame Tussauds Blackpool, depicted Mr Johnson posing with his hands on his hips and sporting a navy suit, white shirt, powder blue tie and his famous mop of hair.

– Liz Truss bust

News of Liz Truss’s appointment as prime minister was met with mixed reviews on social media, but a bust – which was made as “political shenanigans” surrounding the Conservative leadership occurred and finally unveiled on September 5 – united the country through laughter.

Wilfrid Wood, who lives in Hackney, London, and was involved with the satirical TV show Spitting Image in the 1980s and 1990s, made the plasticine sculpture of Ms Truss, which took around a day to complete, complete with striking features including a forehead which “stands out” and a “thick neck”.

The bust got more more 11,000 likes on Twitter.

Conservative leadership bid
Wilfrid Wood’s sculpture of Liz Truss (Wilfrid Wood/PA)

Mr Wood told the PA news agency: “It is hard to say what was the hardest to sculpt. It’s more like what is the easiest? What stands out?

“Her forehead stands out, her cheekbones, her eyebrows are often very, very high on her forehead, which is quite big anyway, and then she’s got quite a small mouth and quite a thick neck.”

– Which Truss is the right Truss?

A Twitter account which appeared to belong to a woman named Liz Trussell, who has the handle @LizTruss, was mistakenly sent congratulatory messages from VIPs including Sweden’s prime minister Magdalena Andersson after Ms Truss become UK prime minister.

@LizTruss replied to Ms Andersson by tweeting “Looking forward to a visit soon! Get the meatballs ready” before the original tweet was deleted.

Another hilarious quip from Ms Trussell included her response to a Twitter user who had berated Ms Truss for showing an “absence of class” for “blanking” Rishi Sunak when she won the Conservative leadership competition, to which she said: “Sorry I was in Nandos.”

– A lettuce outlasts Truss

Ms Truss issued her resignation on October 20 after only 44 days as leader of the country, making her one of the shortest serving prime ministers in history.

To make matters worse, a lettuce outlasted her.

The Daily Star set up a livestream on October 14 to monitor if the salad ingredient would do better than the prime minister, posing the question: “Which wet lettuce will last longer?”

After victory for the lettuce, the paper tweeted: “All hail the lettuce.”

After Ms Truss’s resignation, the lettuce had a blonde wig placed on it, and the framed image of the PM was placed face down on the desk as celebratory songs played.

Disco lights shone and a mini bottle of pink prosecco, a full glass and a miniature gin surrounded the lettuce.

– Rishi Sunak’s podium sparks confusion and quips about his height

When Rishi Sunak gave his first address to the nation on October 24 after he became the new Prime Minister, it appeared as though his podium was shorter than his successor’s.

ITV News political editor Robert Peston tweeted: “Do prime minister’s choose their podiums? Look at the difference between Truss’s and Sunak’s.”

Another user wrote: “They are made to measure as Rishi is not as tall as Liz or Boris, wouldn’t look good if he had to stand on tip toes to look over said lectern.”

Budget 2021
Rishi Sunak in 2021 (Victoria Jones/PA)

Mr Sunak’s height – 5ft 7in – was mentioned on numerous occasions, with many images being taken of him next to fellow members of the cabinet to seemingly draw close attention to it.

– Hancock enters the Australian jungle as part of I’m A Celebrity

MP for West Suffolk Matt Hancock headed to the Australian jungle in November as part of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and contended with several challenges which saw him retrieve stars underwater, eat kangaroo testicles and take part in the show’s famous Celebrity Cyclone.

Virgin Money London Marathon 2021
Matt Hancock (Yui Mok/PA)

There was confusion and anger over his decision – with Andy Drummond of West Suffolk Conservative Association telling PA: “I’m looking forward to him eating a kangaroo’s penis. Quote me” – but Mr Hancock finished in third place.