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Brexfactor: A week for old socks and rapist donkeys

PA Archive/PA Images - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

We pick the worst Brexiteers of the week

Andrew Bridgen

When government advisor Lord Adonis compared Hard Brexit to the British appeasement of Hitler, a series of Tory Brexiteers popped up to complain that using the Fuhrer as a yardstick was unacceptable in modern politics. Chief among them was the intellectual heavyweight for North West Leicestershire, who said that Adonis ‘doesn’t really believe in democracy – just like Hitler’.

Austin Mitchell

The publicity-shunning former MP for Great Grimsby appears to be a little confused about The New European. ‘My beloved Guardian, usually a source of liberal sense (has) now gone overboard in its Euro enthusiasm,’ he wrote on pro-Leave site Brexit Central. ‘A paper on the edge of bankruptcy has wasted I-don’t-know-how-much creating a pro-European pop-up paper, edited by Tony’s representative on earth.’

Apart from the small facts that a) TNE isn’t published by the Guardian; b) TNE is profitable and c) TNE isn’t edited by Alastair Campbell, he’s exactly right.

Fraser Nelson

That embarrassing photo of David Davis and team turning up for negotiations in Brussels without any documents wasn’t a problem for the Spectator editor. In a now-deleted tweet he wrote: ‘Picture sums it up: tables groaning with weight of pointless EU paperwork when just basic facts are needed. Symbolises what we won’t miss.’

Imagine how Fraser would have greeted the appearance of Hans Christian Andersen’s Emperor in his new clothes: ‘A refreshing take on fashion, eschewing the weight of pointless genital coverings and protection against the cold, Symbolises what we won’t miss.’

Rebecca Long-Bailey

Sidelined by Labour high command during the election after a disastrous Sunday Politics interview, the shadow business secretary returned to the scene of the crime and proceeded to explain her party’s Brexit policy by quoting Boris Johnson.

Long-Bailey admitted that on the customs union Labour wanted to ‘have our cake and eat it’ – a line previously spouted by BoJo in an interview, for which he has been mocked by both chancellor Philip Hammond and Bank of England governor Mark Carney.

Katie Hopkins

Hatey Katie has moaned that Vote Leave’s big red lie machine is now being used as ‘a bus to beat us with’. Katie said the referendum battlewagon, which promised an extra £350m a week for the NHS, has ‘become the emblem of every ‘thick and empty headed’ Leave voter’. Wow – she’s right.

Diane James

What a week – First James, now sitting as an independent MEP, launched a Twitter poll asking ‘Regardless of how you voted last year in #EURef, do you think the UK should Leave the EU?’. A whopping 29,302 votes later, the result was in – and 73% had said no. Diane followed up with an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House in which she was asked whether she expected Brexit to actually happen. She replied: ‘No I don’t.’

Tim Martin

Having instructed the CBI to ‘put a sock in it’ over their warnings about Brexit, the Wetherspoons chairman is the target of a campaign in which punters are leaving old socks in his pubs or mailing them directly to him at the company’s HQ.

This is a disgraceful turn of events which will not be condoned by The New European. Messages of support for Tim can be mailed to Mr Tim Martin, Chairman, JD Wetherspoon HQ, Watford, WD24 4QU.

Boris Johnson

Like a corpulent Lauren Bacall, the foreign secretary’s Brexit posturing continued with his suggestion that the EU could ‘go whistle’ rather than expect any sort of divorce payment from Britain. A few hours later David Davis clarified that the UK would ‘work with the EU to determine a fair settlement of the UK’s rights and obligations as a departing member state’ and yet another BoJo lie was punctured.

David Davis

No sooner had the Brexit secretary undercut the foreign secretary than the trade secretary was undercutting the Brexit secretary. Liam Fox popped up on the BBC’s Sunday Politics to confirm that he wouldn’t be able to unveil any global trade deals immediately after leaving the EU as EU rules mean we’re not currently allowed to negotiate outside the bloc. All quite embarrassing for Davis, who made this prediction three weeks after the referendum: ‘Within two years, before the negotiation with the EU is likely to be complete … we can negotiate a free trade area massively larger than the EU.’

John Rees-Evans

Famous for claiming to have foiled a gay donkey’s attempt to rape his horse, the UKIP leadership contender has launched his campaign by promising to start a new social network for Kippers. Since he recently told Twitter that, in his view, ‘multiculturalism = apartheid’, maybe he could call it Racebook?

Rees-Evans’ campaign website contains six pledges. Number four calls for the ‘defence of our ancient constitution’, which seems just slightly at odds with number three, which declares ‘It’s time for us to reboot our ancient constitution’. Only a pedant would point out that we don’t actually have an ancient constitution to begin with, just a collection of laws and conventions.

But that’s all quite sensible next to his remarks in 2014, when he was called upon to condemn claims by Dr Julia Gasper of Oxford UKIP that some homosexuals prefer sex with animals. He replied: ‘Actually I’ve witnessed that. I’ve got a horse, it was in the fields, and a donkey came up – my horse is a stallion. A donkey came up which is male, and I’m afraid tried to rape my horse. My horse bit the side of the donkey, and I had to give my horse a slap to protect the donkey.’

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