Jacob Rees-Mogg criticised for ‘lying down’ during key Brexit debate
The Prime Minister is desperately trying to fight off a Tory revolt over measures aimed at blocking him from taking the UK out of the European Union.
MPs have criticised Jacob Rees-Mogg for “lounging languidly” along the front bench during a historic Brexit debate.
The Leader of the House was seen reclining in the chamber, at times with his eyes closed, as MPs discussed plans to take control of the Commons agenda and pass legislation which would prevent a no-deal Brexit on October 31.
As a working class bloke brought up on a council estate in #Hull I always feel enormous pride and gratitude when I go into the chamber of the House of Commons to represent east #Hull. I’ve never felt a sense of entitlement. This is what that looks like!?— Vote Karl Turner Thursday 12 December (@KarlTurnerMP) September 3, 2019
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas told Mr Rees-Mogg his body language was “so contemptuous of this House and of the people”.
Addressing him in the Commons, Ms Lucas added: “For the benefit of Hansard, the Leader of the House has been spread across around three seats, lying out as if that was something very boring for him to listen to tonight.”
Mr Rees-Mogg appeared to furrow his brow in disagreement in response.
Body language speaks volumes— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) September 3, 2019
I’d spent nearly 3 hours watching him in a prone position & it got too much!
Plus - how dare he label those of us trying to stop No Deal “undemocratic”
His Government has no mandate for this vicious Brexit - and is trying to bypass parliament pic.twitter.com/lO2khL3xnB
As he laid back, Mr Rees-Mogg could be seen pressing his head against a speaker, a tactic often used by MPs attempting to more clearly hear debates in the chamber.
His apparent repose prompted heavy criticism on Twitter from political opponents.
Shadow transport minister and Labour MP, Karl Turner, tweeted: “As a working class bloke brought up on a council estate in Hull I always feel enormous pride and gratitude when I go into the chamber of the House of Commons to represent east Hull.
“I’ve never felt a sense of entitlement. This is what that looks like!?”
Jacob Rees Mogg is literally going for a (u)kip on the front bench. I just asked him if I should call his footman to get him a pillow.— Gavin Newlands 4 PRN 🎗 (@GavNewlandsSNP) September 3, 2019
He politely declined.#Brexit #StopBoris #Parliament pic.twitter.com/ivdWkjieXR
SNP MP Gavin Newlands added: “Jacob Rees-Mogg is literally going for a (u)kip on the front bench. I just asked him if I should call his footman to get him a pillow. He politely declined.”
Has @Jacob_Rees_Mogg lost the ability to sit up or is draping himself horizontally across the front bench pretentious or just bad manners?— dr Sarah Wollaston (@sarahwollaston) September 3, 2019
Lib Dem MP Sarah Wollaston questioned if Mr Rees-Mogg had “lost the ability to sit up” or if the move was “just bad manners”.
Angela Rayner, shadow secretary of state for education said: “I am half expecting his nanny to march into the chamber with a blanket, pillow and a hot cup of Horlicks for the poor man!”
Johnson, Rees Mogg & their ilk literally think Parliament is their manor & they can do do what they like w it. We have to take back control! https://t.co/8lK1hIiDoa— chi onwurah (@ChiOnwurah) September 3, 2019
Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central and shadow minister for industrial strategy, tweeted that MPs needed to “take back control”.
She said: “Johnson, Rees-Mogg and their ilk literally think Parliament is their manor and they can do what they like with it.”
The MP’s horizontal pose also prompted some more light-hearted responses.
Labour Lord Stewart Wood joked that the pose resembled the cover for David Bowie’s album The Man Who Sold The World, while journalist Ash Percival referenced a famous scene featuring Kate Winslet in the film Titanic by tweeting the picture with the words: “Paint me like one of your French girls”.
The Man Who Sold The World pic.twitter.com/VHB3YbT4Yq— Stewart Wood (@StewartWood) September 3, 2019
"Paint me like one of your French girls" pic.twitter.com/tCMhdwkmMt— Ash Percival (@ashpercival) September 3, 2019