Countless fuck-ups, scandals and – pigs? The UK Prime Ministers have provided us with some huge mistakes over the last 20 years, so here’s Punching Up’s top five…

5: Liz Truss (that’s it, that’s the heading)

Liz Truss will very probably go down as the most comically disastrous Prime Minister the UK has ever had. Following a catalogue of errors, 49 days was all she lasted.

Her biggest hiccup was perhaps in September 2022, when the new ‘mini-budget’ was unveiled. This led to total financial disarray as the pound plunged to its lowest point ever. The Bank of England had to intervene with over £65b of damage control.

Less than a month after this, Truss was gone. Her legacy was short but iconic, including being greeted with “Dear oh, dear” by our now-King, and busting a curtsy that resembled a dropped trifle. What a time to be alive.

4: Theresa May – calling general election at the wrong time

Theresa May’s first PMQs as Prime Minister” by UK Parliament is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Theresa May will most likely go down as ‘not that bad’ in the minds of most Brits, which shows just how low the bar has been set. May’s time as Prime Minister was dominated with her trying to deliver Brexit, something she didn’t believe in anyway, and did she do it? Of course not.

Her biggest mistake was throwing away the majority that the Tories won in 2015 by calling a ‘snap’ election in 2017. 

May called the election to increase that majority, which would in turn allow a Brexit deal to pass through Parliament.

The polls suggested this was possible, but it turned out to be a disaster for May whose party lost its majority, losing 12 seats and having to form a government with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

This meant that she could not get that deal through parliament, which eventually led to her downfall. Despite this, she gave an Oscar-winning resignation, enough to bring a tear to the eye… of laughter, obviously.

3: David Cameron – Piggate

Prime Minister David Cameron” by UK Prime Minister is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Speaking of shit, it would not surprise me if David Cameron came out and said he enjoys rolling around in it, after what was revealed in September 2015.

In an unofficial biography of Cameron, writers Isabelle Oakeshott and Michael Ashcroft revealed that as an initiation to the infamous Bullingdon Society at Oxford University, ‘Dodgy Dave’ put his cock and balls into a dead pig’s mouth.

Cameron obviously denied the claims, calling them “false and ludicrous”.

Anyway, Dodgy Dave now lives near Chipping Norton, right by Clarkson’s farm. Someone should tell Jeremy to keep him away from the new pigs…

2: Boris Johnson – Partygate

Prime Minister Boris Johnson Christmas Message” by UK Prime Minister is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Boris was always going to ruin his own career at some point, but Partygate put the nail in the coffin on his time as Prime Minister.

We all know what happened, whilst the rest of the UK was locked down and unable to visit relatives or friends in need, Boris and his boys were having a piss up (or several) in Downing Street.

Perhaps the biggest mistake in all of this is that Boris refused to own up to it right away, and instead lied and lied and lied until the evidence was just too strong for him to get away with it. He finally gave in to calls for him to resign, in July last year.

1: Tony Blair – Iraq war

Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister (1997-2007)” by Chatham House, London is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Blair jumped on board with the invasion, spearheaded by the US. His international ties were strong and he wanted to cuddle up to US President George W. Bush, so much so, he sent an infamous note to the President which simply said “with you, whatever”.

Blair made this decision without much discussion, which was later strongly criticised. He and his legacy struggled to recover, and he resigned in 2007 after ten years as Prime Minister.

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