Rory Stewart jokingly announced he would head up communications for Boris Johnson

IT’S that time again: April Fools’ Day, which of course means there's going to be a lot of outrage and confusion among those stuck in March.

One former Tory leadership contender has taken advantage of the custom to prank the internet about his "new role".

Rory Stewart started a Twitter frenzy when he jokingly announced he was “honoured” to be taking on the new role as director of communications of Number 10 Downing Street.

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Tweeting on April Fools’ Day, he said: “It is an honour to have been asked by the PM to serve as Director of Communications for No10 Downing Street. I am looking forward to working with the PM, Ministers and Members of Parliament on the issues that matter most to our country.”

The former minister quit the Conservative Party after losing the whip as a result of voting against Boris Johnson in the House of Commons over an EU withdrawal bill.

Rory Stewart jokingly announced he would head up communications for Boris JohnsonRory Stewart may not be going to Whitehall after all

He has since been highly critical of the Prime Minister and Brexit, so more than a few eyebrows were raised at the suggestion he would be joining the No10 team … even if it was an April Fools gag.

But, to be fair to the credulous, British politics has become so bizarre in recent years you’d be forgiven for falling for this. Weirder things have happened in Westminster after all.

As one user said: “Unfortunately events have rendered 1st April jokes pointless, real life outstrips their ridiculousness.”

Clearly, not everyone remembered to check the calendars as one user dramatically replied to Stewart: “Looking forward to working with the PM” says @RoryStewartUK … I thought wrongly Rory Stewart had some principles … For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

Another questioned whether Stewart was the right fit for the Johnson administration: “Rory Stewart is the best person to have in Downing Street at any time but, given his comments about Boris in the recent past, is he fit to be Director of Communications?”

Meanwhile Susan Grant made it clear Stewart has lost her support, saying: “What? I thought Rory Stewart was opposed to Boris Johnson’s policies and lies. Turns out he is just like all the other Tories - would not trust him.”

And one person felt like they’d like been sold out, saying: “I hope that this is a joke. Rory Stewart, a critic of the Tory handling of the pandemic, acting as PM's Director of Communications. Maybe Johnson isn't as stupid as we thought. He just buys his people and you've just been bought. I hope you weren't cheap!”

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While another proclaimed: “Rory Stewart and morals? Now THAT'S a joke.”

And it’s not just Stewart, Boris is also losing support over the April Fool’s gag: “If ever there was any doubt as to @BorisJohnson listening to the “mood music” of the nation - hiring @RoryStewartUK as Director of Communications suggests he’s utterly tone deaf After the Ukraine/Brexit gaffe, you may be forgiven for thinking Stewart’s been in post for some time”

Stewart also saw some appreciation for joking people, with Guardian writer Simon Hattenstone saying: “Ooops, I forgot the date. If that is your April Fool, @RoryStewartUK that is proper, genuinely, brilliantly funny.”

While political commentator Ian Dunt said: "Everyone can stop now, we have a winner."

We’re sure this won’t be the only April Fools gag today - and we're certainly sure it won't be the weirdest announcement to come out of Westminster.