Comic book The Beano has written to arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg accusing him of copying Dennis the Menace’s nemesis Walter the Softy.
Taking aim at the Conservative MP Beano Studios warned in the mock legal note that his distinctive style is a rip-off of Walter and called on him to ‘cease and desist’.
The Beano’s Mike Stirling listed alleged infringements of the comic’s copyright including Walter’s hair parting, round glasses, spotty ties and vintage apparel, and enjoyment of classical music.
And he said the chairman of the hard-line, anti-EU European Research Group had copied Walter’s ‘snootiness’ and his efforts to stop others having fun.
Accusing him of ‘masquerading as Walter Brown’, Mr Stirling wrote: ‘It is evident that there are numerous instances whereby you have adopted trademarked imagery and brand essences of the character to the benefit of enhancing your career and popularity.
‘We firmly request that you cease and desist in your ongoing impersonation of the character, which remains the exclusive property of Beano Studios.
‘A swift response on this matter would be greatly appreciated to avoid getting Teacher involved.’
Mr Stirling, who is head of Beano Studios Scotland, said that the similarities between Walter and Rees-Mogg had been spotted by young readers of the comic and its beano.com website.
He said it was clear that Walter had devised his trademark style first, as he first appeared in the Beano in 1953, 16 years before Rees-Mogg’s was born.
‘We were flattered when we discovered that Jacob Rees-Mogg has dedicated his life to impersonating one of my favourite Beano characters, young Walter,’ added Mr Stirling.
‘Nonetheless, as a hard-working British media company, we would prefer the public gets its Walter fix in the pages of our comics and on Beano.com , rather than played out on the political stage. In other words, bog off Rees-Mogg!’