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Activism

Activists demanding a general election deface billboard adverts

Brands such as Fanta, Revolut, Google Pixel, Standard Life pensions and Jaeger jewellery have had their adverts targeted by anonymous activists

Activists have defaced billboard adverts to demand a general election ahead of Tory MPs choosing Rishi Sunak as the country’s latest prime minister.

Some genuine adverts have been defaced and redesigned, including Fanta, Revolut, Google Pixel and Standard Life pensions. One originally advertising Jaeger jewellery now reads: “Can’t believe they want to recycle liar BoJo?” and ‘#GeneralElectionNow’. 

The ‘brandalism’ has been spotted across London, including in Seven Sisters, Brixton, Herne Hill, Stockwell and Whitechapel. It started on Friday following Liz Truss’s resignation and continued on Monday.

The messages demand a general election, including one stating: “Climate crisis, energy crisis, profit crisis, Tory crisis #GeneralElectionNow.” 

“Climate crisis, energy crisis, tory crisis, general election now”

Following Liz Truss’s resignation and Rishi Sunak being chosen by Tory MPs as prime minister, calls for a general election have intensified and a protest is set to take place outside Downing Street on November 5.

A recent poll gave Labour a 36-point lead and in two recent polls 60 per cent of the UK said they wanted an immediate general election – before Liz Truss resigned. 

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Labour leader Keir Starmer has said: “After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos. We need a general election now.”

The Independent has also launched a petition which has already racked up more than 50,000 signatures.

RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch has reportedely described the tTry party as clinging onto the next election “like slime”. 

Brian Thompson, a teacher in east London agreed with the messaging on the posters, saying: “Having had three prime ministers in the last year this country is in total chaos. The Tories are more worried about their personal ambitions than what is best for the country.”

The 38-year old continued: “After such total chaos, and scandal upon scandal, appointing another prime minister with the people allowed no say again is verging on dictatorship.”

One of the posters states: “Scare yourself silly this Halloween: Swallow Tory dictatorship” on a drink advert, and: “This is a Dictatorship. Let us vote #GeneralElectionNow” on an advert for personal investing. 

The next general election is due in January 2025, and the chances of it being brought forward look unlikely. 

A fake poster reads: "Let us vote"
Fake poster reads: “Let us vote. #GeneralElectionNow”

The only ways a general election can be called is if the prime minister requests one, in which case, the monarch King Charles can dissolve government. But that would require the next Tory leader to ask for it. 

The other way would be if Labour called a vote of no confidence, however that needs a majority of 650 MP’s to vote.

Another observer of the posters said: “I do agree with the message, the people should have their say.”  

Samantha Bell, a resident in Lewisham went on to say: “Can you imagine a more dysfunctional government? We need stable leadership that knows how to run the country and economy, and an end to this nightmare.”

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