The Brex Factor: Farage throws towel in for a place in the Sun
- Credit: PA
Steve Anglesey names the worst Brexiteers of the week
10. HENRY BOLTON
UKIP's leader-for-the-next-five-minutes used possibly the most creative excuse yet while defending his an-aus girlfriend Jo Marney in an interview with the Times' Andrew Billen. 'A lot of young people say things on social media these days that don't necessarily – which is strange for our generation – reflect what they think,' claimed Bolton. Was it, asked Billen, tweeting as a performance art? 'Correct,' said lovestruck Henry.
Well, that explains it! While we draft our apologies to poor Jo for calling her an ignorant racist rather than Maidstone's Marina Abramovic, perhaps she should study this instruction piece from another great performance artist, Yoko Ono: 'Try to say nothing negative about anybody a) for three days b) for forty-five days c) for three months. See what happens to your life.'
9. PETER LILLEY
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Once one of John Major's 'bastards', the veteran Eurosceptic looks set to lose the peerage he was expected to be given in the next few weeks his after being secretly filmed by Channel 4 allegedly offering to approach key Brexit ministers on behalf of a fictional Chinese company.
Lilley, who insists he has done nothing wrong, has called the sting 'tawdry' and 'unjust', but he used to be rather more keen on undercover work – in 1996 the then social security secretary launched his 'Beat-a-Cheat' telephone hotlines, encouraging people to anonymously shop friends and family who might be claiming benefits illegally.
8. JAMES CRACKNELL
'We need to be fit to take on the world again,' declared the Olympic rower in 2016 as he came out for Leave. 'There will be ups and downs but we have to do it.'
There seem to have been more downs than ups for James since we took back control, including failures to find a suitable Conservative seat and now the humiliation of admitting that he bought 50,000 Twitter followers – around half his total count – from a company called Devumi in 2016.
Just imagine that – a Brexiteer manipulating social media for his own ends!
7. ANDY WIGMORE
The Stiletto Crow to Arron Banks' Baron Greenback really has been a Bad Boy Of Brexit after being pulled over by police for using illegal diplomatic plates as well as an expired diplomatic ID card, despite losing his job as a trade envoy for Belize a year ago. 'It's very embarrassing, but it was all just an administrative error,' said Wigmore. Wouldn't it be in the spirit of Leave.EU if he was deported back to Central America straight away, even if he has actually done nothing wrong in the first place?
6. PETER BONE
And talking of car trouble, the Wellingborough MP and failed Sven-Goran Eriksson lookalike told Sky the EU would cave in to British demands during trade negotiations as 'I was at a roundabout yesterday and every car around me was German… I'm sure they'll want to do a deal'.
Peter didn't make clear whether the cars were all driven by the immigrants who once ruined Nigel Farage's trip up the M4, but it might have escaped him that there are 26 other EU countries which also have roundabouts full of German cars whom Germany can continue to enjoy tariff-free trade with, not to mention all the roundabouts full of German cars in other countries across the world with which the EU has trade deals. Still, let's all climb in Peter's Brexitmobile and go round the bend together!
5. NADINE DORRIES
Brexit's least coherent advocate accused a right-wing political commentator who writes for Rupert Murdoch's Times and was a Tory MP for seven years of being a closet Communist.
'What Matthew Parris wants, along with the other Remainers, is chaos,' she told Peston On Sunday. 'Rather than see Brexit happen they would prefer for the government to fall and to have a Marxist government.'
But perhaps Nadine is something of a closet Commie herself. As a Buzzfeed scoop revealed, back in October she was asking fellow members of a Conservative Brexiteer WhatsApp group whether Britain should stay in the customs union after all, apparently after losing an argument about it with a constituent. Having been persuaded, Dorries wrote to her colleagues: 'You have just convinced me what my gut always knew – it is so complicated and convoluted, we must get the hell out.'
Translation: The EU is too difficult for Nadine Dorries to understand; therefore we must leave it.
4. DONALD TRUMP
Asked about Brexit by Piers Morgan, the leader of the free world proved as unable to construct a simple sentence using a well-known expression as he is to construct his 'big, fat, beautiful' wall with Mexico.
'The European Union is not cracked up to what it's supposed to be,' said Trump, thus mangling a phrase made popular by Davy Crockett – another American who took on the Mexicans with unfortunate results...
3. JACOB REES-MOGG
'Brexit is more important than anyone but the Queen' and 'may the PM live forever, amen, amen, hallelujah, hallelujah, amen' were among the week's more sensible quotes from National Trust heritage site Rees-Mogg, who fits in serving as North East Somerset's MP with being the most interviewed backbench MP in history.
Moaning that there was no clear route to Britain's future relationship with the EU, crackers Jacob also revealed, 'One friend of mine said it's more like a plank than a bridge.' And, to be fair, any friend of Jacob Rees-Mogg knows a plank when he sees one.
2. DAVID DAVIS
Turned up to the Lords' Brexit committee looking like The Fast Show's Rowley Birkin QC and declared in a typically shambolic appearance that 'assessing legal risk is something, I think, beyond the human mind.' Alas he stopped short of declaring, 'I was supposed to write the Brexit impact papers but I'm afraid I was very, very drunk.'
1. NIGEL FARAGE
No one is suggesting that the Nicotine-Stained Man-Frog is obsessed with appearing in the media, but he popped up in the Sun to comment on the big issue of our times... the news that Thomas Cook will allow holidaymakers to book their sunloungers in advance rather than rising at dawn to put the towels down.
'It's nice to be ahead of the Germans for once – another Brexit bonus,' quipped Nigel, mixing untrue racial stereotyping with cheerleading for the malfunctioning mobility scooter he persuaded 52% of the population to board. Other political heavyweights quoted in the same story: 'Model Rhian Sugden, 30', 'TV host Lizzie Cundy, 48' and 'Plumber Dave Harris, 36'.
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