Rory Stewart ‘won’ April Fool’s Day with a tweet announcing he had been asked by Boris Johnson to serve as his new communications chief, we reported on Friday.
But as well as suckering in bemused Twitter users, the former Tory MP appears to have fooled the BBC as well!
The broadcaster shared the fake update during a television segment on Friday after Stewart tweeted that morning that he would be taking over as the prime minister’s communications director.
“It’s an honour”
“It is an honour to have been asked by the PM to serve as Director of Communications for No 10 Downing Street,” Stewart posted.
“I am looking forward to working with the PM, Ministers and Members of Parliament on the issues that matter most to our country.”
Stewart, who was international development secretary for a period in 2019, was kicked out of the Conservative Party that year after he voted against the leader in the House of Commons over an EU withdrawal bill.
He said at the time he had the whip removed by text just minutes after being named GQ magazine’s Politician of the Year.
He remained in parliament as an independent before resigning as an MP months after he was defeated by Mr Johnson in the 2019 leadership race. He has remained an outspoken critic of the Prime Minister since leaving politics.
In January, he said it was “very disturbing” that Mr Johnson was ever elected as prime minister when he has a record as a proven liar.
In 2020, he claimed the Johnson could “end up being toppled” by the coronavirus pandemic and argued the PM had shown similar weaknesses to US President Donald Trump, who had recently lost the US election.