A polite but direct British man in the town of Morley, Yorkshire on Thursday kicked off the viral hashtag #PleaseLeaveMyTown after making that request of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Johnson was visiting the northern town as part of an informal campaign ahead of a potential general election in October.
While the prime minister was crossing a street in Morley, a man approached him to shake his hand, saying only, "Please leave my town."
“Please leave my town.”
“I will, very soon.” pic.twitter.com/3gqW2SwqMi
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) September 5, 2019
Video of the exchange quickly went viral on social media, with the original video garnering more than 30,000 retweets in a matter of hours. Some northerners said the voter had spoken on behalf of many in the region.
“Please leave my town.”
— Liverpool Walton CLP (@LpoolWaltonCLP) September 5, 2019
Right, I actually NEED "please leave my Town" on a t shirt https://t.co/TJUuUhtFic
— EU Naughty Boy (@RemainOnly) September 5, 2019
I am a Wakey boy born & bred & I married a Leeds lass 34 yrs ago, on behalf of both cities can I echo the sentiment conveyed to him yesterday concerning leaving our cities.
In fact I would go further and urge him never to come back - we don’t like liars up here.#leavemytown
— Derek Jackson #FBPE Lib Dem Gardener Geek (@Atmosferaprego) September 6, 2019
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The phrase became a rallying cry for Brits who have already decided they won't support Johnson and the Conservative Party if there is a general election on October 15. The prime minister demanded an election following the defeat of his no-deal Brexit proposal in the House of Commons this week.
Dear Mr Johnson.
Could you #PleaseLeaveMyTown by not coming to it.
— Apollon101 (@Apollon101) September 6, 2019
— Amy Foster (@SuperAmes84) September 6, 2019
Johnson's term as prime minister, which began less than two months ago, has been marked by chaos in Parliament amid debate over the divisive issue of Brexit. Johnson was hoping to complete Brexit by October 31—with or without a deal.
The prime minister has been faced with questions in recent days over whether he will resign, a possibility the government did not rule out Friday, after his proposal was rejected and a number of Conservative lawmakers abandoned him, leaving him with a minority government.
In the U.S., one observer called on Americans to display the same firm rejection of President Donald Trump, should he appear in their towns.
"Let's all strive to be the 'Please Leave My Town' guy when Donald Trump stops by," the user tweeted.