The above tweet was posted on 7 August, 2020 from an unofficial account of the British Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson. The tweet has since gone viral with 62.1K likes and 14.5K retweets at the time of writing this fact check.
Several other Twitter users shared this claim as well. You can see a few examples below.
Fact Check/ Verification
Given the tweet in context was posted from an unofficial account, we first looked for any information on PM Johnson’s official Twitter account and found nothing which suggests that he did ‘Sri Ram Abhishek’ on 5 August.
We then did a Google reverse image search of the photograph in the claim. The search result led us to a December 2019 article by The Hindu, which details British PM Boris Johnson’s visit to one of UK’s most famous temples, Swaminarayan Mandir, in Neasden, north-west London. PM Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds visited the Neasden temple before the UK’s 2019 General Elections.
The second search result was a link to the BAPS Youtube channel. The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is a worldwide socio-spiritual organisation motivated by Hindu principles, according to the channel’s description.A video posted on 13 December, 2019 includes the claim’s image and its description says the following:
“British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – popularly known as the ‘Neasden Temple’ – on Saturday 7 December 2019. The visit coincided with the 98th birthday celebrations of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the inspirer and creator of the Mandir.”
The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha website includes details of PM Johnson’s visit to the Neasden Temple in December 2019. The woman in the photograph with PM Johnson is Priti Patel, Home Secretary, United Kingdom.
Back in December 2019, PM Johnson tweeted (from his official account) about his visit to the Neasden Temple with photographs, which includes the image from the claim. You can view his tweets below.
LiveMint wrote about PM Johnson’s visit to the Neasden Temple in 2019 as well.
This claim goes viral after the Ram Janam Bhoomi poojan in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh on 5 August.
Our research makes it clear that the recent tweet which claims that British PM Boris Johnson did ‘Sri Ram Abhishek’ with the Home Minister at his residence on 5 August is misleading. The image in context is from his visit to the Neasden Temple in London ahead of the UK’s 2019 General Elections.
BAPS channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fLK6tSrCfU
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha website: https://londonmandir.baps.org/2019/12/prime-minister-boris-johnson-visits-neasden-temple/
UK PM Boris Johnson’s official Twitter profile: https://twitter.com/BorisJohnson/status/1204796676365570050?s=20