The Brex-Factor: 10 of the worst Brexiteers this week
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10. Roger Helmer (DOWN 7)
The climate change-denying East Midlands MEP's reputation for clear-headed thinking has been further bolstered by reports of how he spent the festive period. In his monthly newsletter, Helmer revealed that 'having done family Christmases for more decades than I care to remember, I decided to have a change in 2016, and to become a refugee from Christmas'. Now, where would YOU go to be sure of avoiding all mention of Christmas? North Korea? The Church Of Satan's HQ? The Moon? Roger took a slightly different tack. 'I visited Bethlehem on December 24th,' he reported. Yes, that's Bethlehem, birthplace of Christmas Day birthday boy Jesus Christ. Alas, our hero was forced to admit that he had visited 'a predominantly Christian city, and there were parades and marching bands in preparation for Christmas festivities (so I did not avoid the event entirely)'. Next week: Roger reveals how he decided to do Dry January while camped out in Wetherspoons.
9. Boris Johnson (DOWN 3)
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The Foreign Secretary's yearned-for rehabilitation after stitching up David Cameron seems some way off. Despite reports that their friendship was back on after a clear-the-air meeting in Jerusalem before Shimon Peres' funeral last October, the former PM has told world leaders he names game birds after his old school chum before shooting them. Cameron joked at the the World Economic Forum in Davos, 'I have used the extra time to take up shooting again. I find that when I shoot a few Borises and Michaels I feel a whole lot better.'
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8. Daniel Hannan (NEW ENTRY)
Like Paddington Bear, the South East MEP hails from Lima, Peru; also like Paddington, his brain appears to be entirely comprised of marmalade sandwiches. Hannan severely dented his supposed status as the thinking man's Brexiteer with a dismal Tweet about last Saturday's global women's marches against Donald Trump. 'So pleased that our female head of government ran in her own right and not as the last guy's wife, banana-republic style,' he posted, above a pic of Theresa May. Putting aside the fact that Hillary Clinton isn't the last guy's wife but the wife of the guy before the guy before the last guy, isn't it monstrously sexist and monumentally stupid to reduce a Yale Law School graduate, two-term senator and former secretary of state to just 'the last guy's wife'? And isn't the Tweet really nothing to do with the women's march at all?
7. Owen Paterson (NEW ENTRY)
A fresh humiliation for the former environment secretary who in 2013 defended a missed cull target by declaring that 'the badgers moved the goalposts'. Paterson went to Berlin last weekend on a mission to persuade German businessmen that they had nothing to fear from Brexit. Alas, the conference he attended grew restless when the North Shropshire MP attempted some EU-bashing and then burst into derisive laughter when he described the UK described as 'a beacon of open, free trade around the world'. Auf wiedersehn, prat.
6. Katie Hopkins (RE-ENTRY)
No word yet on the latter-day Cruella de Vil's move to America, despite promising to do so if Donald Trump won the Presidency. Yet she still felt able to pontificate on the Washington women's march, telling Mail Online readers, 'Feminism has to be better than this. Better than posters telling me your vagina is tough. Or 'this pussy grabs back'. So what? Mine can stash a 24 oz can of Coors Light. Sideways.' Hopefully no sub-editors were forced to fact-check this claim, but the choice of Coors as beer of choice is interesting given former board member Bill Coors' legendary appearance in a group of minority businessmen in 1984, when he urged them to 'go back to where your ancestors came from, and you will find out that probably the greatest favour that anybody ever did you was to drag your ancestors over here in chains'.
5. Paul Nuttall (UP 3)
UKIP leader and candidate for the Stoke-on-Trent by-election who has grown a beard, presumably to reduce his resemblance to Paul Nuttall. If Nuttall is going to triumph in the Potteries, he'll have to do so with the electorate being fully aware of his toxic views on health, which include claiming 'as long as the NHS is the 'sacred cow' of British politics, the longer the British people will suffer', calling it 'a monolithic hangover from days gone by' and adding that 'the very existence of the NHS stifles competition, and as competition drives quality and choice, innovation and improvements are restricted'. In a squirmy performance on Good Morning Britain (which at least stopped Piers Morgan discussing his friendship with Donald Trump for a welcome three minutes) Nuttall backtracked and claimed that he had since 'learned from what I'd said'. We've also learned from what Nuttall said; specifically we've learned that he's a f***wit.
4. Paul Dacre (NEW ENTRY)
Human expletive factory and Daily Mail editor Dacre reacted to the Supreme Court decision with typical calm as his paper built on last year's revolting 'Enemies Of The People' attack. No room, alas, in the Mail's this week for mention of the £88,000 in European Union subsidies Dacre trousered in 2014 for his country homes in the Scottish Highlands and Sussex, or the £400,000 he received from Europe before that.
3. Iain Duncan Smith (NEW ENTRY)
Special snowflake of the right whose reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on Article 50 was a heady brew of factual inaccuracy and Kevin The Teenager-style declarations that the whole thing was 'so unfair'. Claimed the Supreme Court was self-appointed (it was set up by Parliament in the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005), that there was an 'issue of who is supreme' (no issue, it's Parliament, which is why the Supreme Court gave the decision back to it) and moaned that an 8-3 split decision (that's 73% v 27% of the judges) was delaying a decision voted for by 52% v 48% of those polled last June. Another day of triumph for the genius behind the Bedroom Tax, Universal Credit and the switch from DLA to PIP and yet more proof that George Osborne was right when he called IDS 'just not clever enough'.
2. Godfrey Bloom (NEW ENTRY)
A new low for the former MEP who was deemed too stupid even for UKIP in 2013, when he lost the party whip for attacking journalist Michael Crick, a few weeks after referring to countries receiving British aid as 'Bongo Bongo Land'. In a hastily-deleted Tweet from January 16, Bloom opined, 'The Reality is that Leavers create wealth, Remainers in the main consume it. When push comes to shove Remainers are of no value to society'. Good point, and perhaps we valueless Remainers should all be made to wear identifying badges - yellow stars, maybe - so Leavers know who to avoid while on their way to creating more wealth.
1. Nigel Farage (UP 1)
Subject of the most unfortunate, and yet the most accurate, typo in recent history.
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