Sorry folks, but 18-year-old Patrick O’Donnell may have created the best Instagram account you’ve ever seen.
The politics with international relations student at the University of York leads a rather interesting double life.
When he’s not being a fresher at university, Patrick is a fake MP on Instagram running the popular account Patrick The MP.
And yes, it’s even funnier than you’d expect:
Patrick, who’s from Clapham in south London, dreamt up the idea in the run up to the 2017 General Election.
He told UNILAD:
I had a few vaguely political posts on my personal Instagram account but I thought it would be fun to take it a step further.
I had no idea how long it would last but after a few selfies with MPs and joke photo-shoots with my mates at school, I decided to keep it going as people seemed to find it funny.
Although his following currently stands at just over 3,000, it’s continually growing thanks to some MPs even sharing it on their social media.
— Melanie Onn MP (@OnnMel) October 13, 2017
According to his Instagram, Patrick is the Member of Parliament for Clapham – a constituency which hasn’t existed since 1974.
Representing the Labour Party, who Patrick also supports in real life, he posts various photos mocking British politics and society.
He told UNILAD about the policies Patrick the MP stands for:
I support the Labour Party. The Conservatives don’t care about poor people and although the Lib Dems seem nice, they’re a bit useless.
And I really loved Labour’s 2017 election manifesto. I occasionally reference these policies and the Labour Party as a whole on my Instagram feed but a lot of what I do is pretty spontaneous, like complaining about the high volume of air in crisp packets.
To be completely honest though, I think it’s a real problem – the air I mean!
Although his Instagram is very clearly a joke, some people do mistake Patrick for an MP.
I’ve genuinely had a few people asking me if I am an MP which is a bit scary considering all of my posts are meant to be taken as a joke.
I don’t know any real MPs that sit on bus stops in the middle of the road.
One of the best things about Patrick’s Instagram is the fact he gets all his friends involved, getting them to also pose as figures of authority.
Luckily for him, they all enjoy doing this:
I think most of them find it quite funny and they’ve been very supportive by offering to take photos for me or agreeing to shake my hand.
Considering his fake account is more popular than some real MPs, we asked Patrick what advice he would give to politicians who are wanting to appeal to young voters.
Using social media is one way – but never ever do what the Conservatives have done on their Instagram when they attempted to do a ‘behind the scenes’ series of photos at their conference, featuring really dodgy photos of Cabinet members who are the wrong side of 50.
It was a disaster.
Although Patrick makes for an excellent fake MP, this is not a career he’s going to pursue for real in the future.
He told UNILAD:
I honestly have no idea what I want to do when I’m older but I definitely want to be involved in politics in some way.
You don’t necessarily have to be an MP to bring about change!
While Patrick O’Donnell has no plans of becoming an MP in the future, Patrick the MP will continue representing Clapham.
Patrick the MP will continue doing what he’s doing to ensure we have a country ‘For the Many, Not the Few’, with lots of fun posts along the way.
We can’t wait to see where he takes this next!
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.