The Sun baffles social media with pork pie front page in support of Johnson

The Sun has baffled social media users with a Thursday edition front page that appears to be attempting to support Boris Johnson via a pie-chart made with a real pork pie, and the pun headline that Johnson is “crust” ahead.

The Sun’s pork pie graph front page
The Sun’s pork pie graph front page Photograph: The Sun

The pie is divided into three sections, helpfully labelled “End of Covid rules”, “Partygate inquiry” and “Revolting MPs”. The largest potion of the pie – presumably the positive news in the paper’s view that Covid restrictions in England are ending – has an arrow pointing to some mustard saying “Cutting the mustard”. On the other side a different label suggests that the prime minister is still “in a pickle”.

As one observer noted, that’s not really how pie charts work.

And as another noted, it’s not really clear how they got there anyway.

Some credited it to the famous “boffins” that the tabloid often refers to in any story featuring scientists

Several people on social media linked the bizarre front page to the fact that the newspaper’s deputy editor – James Slack – is himself implicated in the “partygate” scandal, having been forced to issue an apology for a Downing Street party held in his honour during Covid restrictions as he left his former role as Boris Johnson’s head of communications.

Others likened it to something out of the Chris Morris television news satire, The Day Today, in particular one scene where Morris stands in front of a similarly bizarre chart.

The reported attempt to oust the prime minister by a group of Tory MPs who had been elected in 2019 in the “red wall” seats has been named the “pork pie plot” by supporters of Boris Johnson. Ostensibly, it refers to the fact that Alicia Kearns is one of the more prominent figures, and she is MP for Rutland and Melton, which includes Melton Mowbray where the famous pork pies are made. However, some observers have noted that it carries more than a whiff of snobbery about it, looking down on newly elected Conservative MPs from the north of England.

The Sun’s front page may warrant further investigation by the Twitter account Graph Crimes, which regularly exposes people making bizarre claims via charts on social media. Or possibly it is just a thankless task to try to analyse it at all.


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