'Sorry to the Uighurs!': Jacinda Ardern puppet sings about China trade deal in savage new Spitting Image skit

UK comedy sketch show Spitting Image has taken its fiercest jab at Jacinda Ardern yet in a skit that sees her likeness in puppet form sing about New Zealand's recent trade agreement with China. 

The BritBox series, made by the BBC and ITV, has already touched on the Prime Minister's response to COVID-19 and the results of Aotearoa's recent cannabis and euthanasia referendums.

This time, Ardern is accused of "turning a blind eye" to the plight of the Uighur Muslim minority group in China, and sings "who cares how the people in Hong Kong might feel?"

The skit begins with Chinese President Xi Jinping - who has a bat perched on his shoulder - thanking Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for joining China's trade bloc, declaring: "Here's to a prosperous future with no questions asked."

"We're just happy to sell clean, healthy Australian coal," Morrison replies. 

"Practically perfect people don't judge, we just sing!" Ardern chimes in, before the scene transitions into a parody of the Marry Poppins song 'Chim Chim Cher-ee'. 

"Jinping and me, Jinping and me, we'll do the deal / Who cares how the people in Hong Kong might feel," Ardern sings. 

"Jinping and me, Jinping and me, what won't he buy? / So sorry to the Uighurs, we turned a blind eye!" 

The song refers to alleged human rights abuses by the government of China that have seen more than a million Uighurs forced into internment camps in the Xinjiang region. Those who have managed to escape the camps say detainees are subjected to abuse including torture, forced sterilisation, brainwashing and forced labour.

The sketch also sees Ardern's trusty sidekick - an umbrella with a talking sheep's head on top - bitten by Jinping's pet bat, an apparent reference to unverified claims the coronavirus started with people eating bats sold at places such as the Wuhan wet markets.

Blaming the origins of COVID-19 on 'bat-eating' has been widely condemned as racist and inaccurate, amid a reported rise in violence and verbal abuse towards people of Asian origin during the pandemic.