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Boris Johnson emerges as most popular prime minister… among novelty jug buyers

A Toby Jug of Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Houses of Parliament Shop)
A Toby Jug of Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Houses of Parliament Shop)

Boris Johnson’s popularity in Parliament remains high among shoppers after he topped the sales charts for novelty prime minister jugs.

The outgoing Prime Minister’s ceramic collectable Toby Jug has outsold those of Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill since he entered No 10 in 2019.

Sales figures provided by the House of Commons show 225 Toby Jugs of Mr Johnson have been sold since 2019 compared to 157 for two designs of Mrs Thatcher and 154 for Mr Churchill.

Margaret Thatcher Toby Jug
A Toby Jug depicting former prime minister Margaret Thatcher (UK Parliament Shop)

Mr Johnson is in his final weeks as Prime Minister after a series of scandals resulted in dozens of resignations from ministers and unpaid aides, capping a tumultuous period in modern British politics.

His jug, priced at £32 and measuring 11 centimetres high, is listed as out of stock on the Parliament website.

They are made in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and a total of 1,500 have been made for each prime minister included in the series.

Theresa May Toby Jug
The Toby Jug showing former prime minister Theresa May did less well (UK Parliament Shop)

Shoppers bought 64 Mr Johnsons in 2019/20, 69 in 2020/21, 77 in 2021/22 and 15 so far in the current financial year.

By contrast, 77 Theresa May Toby Jugs were sold during her three years in power between 2016 and 2019.

The Conservative former prime minister was fourth on the latest list with 65 sales since 2019/20 followed by Labour’s Tony Blair on 64.

Prime Minister’s Questions
Conservative MP Michael Fabricant for Lichfield (House of Commons/PA)

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant, a Johnson loyalist, told the PA news agency: “I am glad to hear he’s not just popular amongst Conservative Party members who wanted him to stay, he’s popular with the general public too.

“And I hear his sales exceeded Gordon Brown’s – but that’s nothing much to be proud of, I guess.”

On why Mr Johnson topped the sales chart, Mr Fabricant said: “Boris is popular because he has a real personality unlike so many boring politicians, and, like me, he has gorgeous blond hair.”

Labour post-war prime minister Clement Atlee sold 58 followed by Harold Wilson on 46 and Sir John Major on 40 – with David Cameron only managing 39 sales and Gordon Brown 34.

Neville Chamberlain was among the least popular prime ministerial Toby Jugs over the same period, with 20 sold.

Andrew Bonar Law, Ramsay MacDonald and Stanley Baldwin sold 10 apiece although the figures only relate to 2021/22 and this year.