Lewes Bonfire Night: Rishi Sunak unveiled as effigy

An effigy of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been revealed at bonfire celebrations in Lewes, East Sussex, attended by thousands of people.

The effigy, known as a tableau, was met with boos from the crowd.

The historic town is famous for its lively Bonfire Night celebration, which fell on 4 November this year.

The crowds were not deterred by a yellow weather warning and travel disruption caused by the recent Storm Ciarán.

They showed up to the event despite rain, road closures, transportation issues, and a plea for people to attend local bonfires.

Seven bonfire societies each produces an effigy, which typically reflect current affairs, and are later burned in fields outside Lewes - along with a traditional Guy Fawkes.

Past effigies have included prime ministers Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Tony Blair, Russia President Vladimir Putin and broadcaster Katie Hopkins.

The societies, many of which date to the 19th Century, organise the parade every year.

The societies marched through the town with drummers, fireworks and burning crosses.

Members of Commercial Square bonfire society march through the cobbled streets of Lewes for bonfire celebrations
Members of Commercial Square bonfire society march through the cobbled streets

The societies often keep their effigies a surprise until the day.

Another tableau this year shows Chancellor Jeremy Hunt driving a train with HS2 on the side. Some commentators have suggested Treasury cuts have resulted in part of the rail project being cancelled.

The event does not only commemorate the failed Gunpowder Plot led by Guy Fawkes in 1605.

The burning crosses are also paraded through Lewes each year to mark the burning of 17 Protestant martyrs during the reign of Mary I, often known as "Bloody Mary".

Guy Fawkes effigy
The procession always includes an effigy of Guy Fawkes

Authorities previously urged visitors not to travel to the event due to overcrowding concerns.

A large multi-agency presence including police, fire and ambulance services attended the event.

Lewes bonfire attendee
Lewes bonfire attendee
Lewes bonfire parade
Attendees bear torches as they parade through the town

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