The Claim and Our Verdict
The claim: A video claims to show Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak dancing at a party.
- There is no evidence that the man in the viral video is Rishi Sunak. The video was published in July 2019 on Instagram by Wayne Lineker. It actually shows people dancing at a club in Ibiza, Spain. In recent years, Lineker has repeatedly posted the same video on social media to express his stance and attitude towards different social events.
- Several media outlets and fact-checking organizations have debunked similar claims, clarifying that the man in the video is not Rishi Sunak but his lookalike. The French news channel France 24 has pointed out that Sunak has a mole on the left side of his face, but the man in the video does not.
- According to Sunak’s official social media accounts, in July 2019, he stayed in the U.K. and attended various events in the country. Therefore, he did not go to Ibiza in Spain, nor he appeared in the viral video.
Our verdict: The man dancing in the viral video is not Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
A video of a man dancing was shared Oct. 26, 2022, on Twitter, with the caption “Britain’s new Prime Minister.” It claims that the man dancing in the video is Rishi Sunak, U.K.’s new Prime Minister.
According to a news article published by Reuters, Rishi Sunak was appointed as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace on Oct. 25, 2022.
As of the publication of this report, the tweet had been retweeted 25 times, 5 times with quotes, and had received 43 likes. Similar posts have been circulating on Weibo.
A reverse image search found a video posted by Instagram user “waynelineker” on July 12, 2019. The location of the video tagged in the caption was “O Beach Ibiza,” a club in Ibiza, Spain. The caption said, “Life is good right now!!” The viral video and the Instagram video show the same scene. According to media reports, the personal profile of “waynelineker” and the social media posts published by him, the name of the user is Wayne Lineker, one of the founders of O Beach Ibiza.
In addition, the Google Street View of O Beach Ibiza corresponds to the scene of the viral video in many details. Therefore, the video was indeed taken at O Beach Ibiza in Spain.
As of the publication of this report. Lineker has not responded to HKBU Fact Check’s request for comment.
According to a news article published by South China Morning Post, Sunak announced that he would be in race to succeed Boris Johnson as Britain’s next Prime Minister on July 8, 2022. The next day, on July 9, 2022, Lineker posted the same video again on Instagram and tagged Sunak’s official Instagram account in the caption: “@rishisunakmp trying to win the ibiza crowd over today campaigning for votes.”
Sunak’s official Facebook account shows that in July 2019 (that is, just before the first release of the viral video), he attended events in the U.K. Therefore, he did not go to Ibiza, nor he appeared in the viral video.
It has been found that the Spanish media outlets ABC and Diario de Ibiza, as well as The Logical Indian, an Indian fact-checking organization, have debunked similar claims and clarified that the man in the video was not Rishi Sunak but his lookalike. The French media France 24 said in its program that there was no evidence that the man dancing in the video was Rishi Sunak, because he once said that he does not drink alcohol and that he has a mole on the left side of his face. The man in the video does not have such facial feature.
The man dancing in the viral video is not Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
- Twitter, tweet, Oct. 26, 2022.
- Reuters, “New PM Rishi Sunak pledges to lead Britain out of economic crisis,” Oct. 25, 2022.
- Weibo, post, Oct. 26, 2022.
- Instagram, post, July 12, 2019.
- Nativ, “O Beach Ibiza celebrates its 10th anniversary. We speak to the owners of the legendary beach club,” Sept. 2, 2022.
- Google Maps.
- Instagram, post, Jan. 21, 2022.
- Instagram, post, Jan. 20, 2022.
- South China Morning Post, “Contest to replace UK’s Boris Johnson begins, ‘someone has to grip this moment’, says top candidate,” July 8, 2022.
- Instagram, post, July 9, 2022.
- Facebook, post, July 10, 2019.
- ABC, “Los bailes de Rishi Sunak de fiesta en Ibiza vuelven locas a las redes… y resulta ser un doble,” Oct. 25, 2022.
- Diario de Ibiza, “¿Es este el primer ministro británico, Rishi Sunak, bailando desatado en Ibiza?,” Oct. 25, 2022.
- The Logical Indian, “Old Video of Rishi Sunak’s Doppelganger Dancing at A Beach Goes Viral with False Claim,” October 27, 2022.
- France 24, “Debunking claims that UK PM Rishi Sunak was filmed dancing in Ibiza,” Oct. 28, 2022.