When the Prime Minister's brother Jo Johnson quit the government, citing an "unresolvable tension" between his family loyalty and the national interest, Boris Johnson was said to have cried.
Well – dry your eyes, mate, because your kamikaze pursuit of Brexit is making you a whole load of new friends on the far-right.
Following the removal of the whip from 21 rebel Tory MPs who voted against the government in a bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit, Tommy Robinson's official Telegram channel posted a ringing endorsement to his followers: “It is refreshing to actually see someone have a pair and stand up for British democracy… We back Boris, now just get us out of the EU.”
Tommy Robinson News also posted a graphic encouraging followers to turn up to a pro-Brexit rally on Saturday, which read, “Show your solidarity and support Boris”.
Robinson – or whoever is running his Telegram while he’s in prison – is not the only new Boris fan.
Danny Tommo is an activist who hangs around with Tommy Robinson and is trying to turn himself into a brand. Before he started self-promoting, his most notable act was getting himself jailed for a failed kidnap attempt in which he tried to abduct the wrong person.
He also encouraged his followers to go to Parliament Square on Saturday, saying “we stand united in support for @BorisJohnson, with our clear desire to leave a ‘No Deal’ on the 31st”.
This was shared with a picture of Boris Johnson as Winston Churchill, which looks like the kind of thing you’d find in a racist branch of All Bar One.
Jayda Fransen is another new BoJo fan. Fransen is the former deputy leader of Britain First, a small far-right party. The party used to have a Facebook page with almost 2 million likes, making it the biggest UK political party on social media. That was until the page was shut down for posting a photo of the group's leaders with the caption “Islamophobic and Proud”, a caption comparing Muslim immigrants with animals, and multiple videos posted deliberately to incite hateful comments against Muslims.
The party’s meatspace activities were just as… er… colourful, as they used to run “Christian patrols” in East London, in a desperate and provocative grab for relevance. In March 2018 Fransen was jailed for 36 weeks for three counts of religiously aggravated harassment.
Now she’s found another thing to talk about: her admiration for Boris Johnson. Commenting on his car-crash week in Parliament in a video posted to her Telegram group she says, “I have to say I am actually delighted at Boris’s work so far, you know I didn’t think he had it in him.”
“First and foremost getting rid of the 21 traitors was an excellent move. Let’s keep that momentum,” she said.
Another post on her Telegram simply read: “Out with the traitors, well done Boris,” underneath a picture of the 21 Tory rebels who lost the whip.
She advocates a pact between the Conservatives and the Brexit Party, something which Chancellor Sajid Javid refused to rule out on the weekend. “Please let’s have the Brexit Party and the government come together, let’s have this general election, it’s an election for Brexit, it’s an election for democracy,” says Fransen.
It was no surprise to see far-right supporters singing “Oh Boris we love you” in Parliament Square on Saturday.
If Boris feels sad about falling out with any family members of Conservative Party grandees, at least he can comfort himself that he’s fast becoming a legend on the British far-right.