Rees-Mogg denies supporting German far-right despite sharing leader's speech
PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:30 01 April 2019
Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment
Jacob Rees-Mogg has denied he supports a German far-right party after he was sharing a speech by its leader on social media.
The Tory Brexiteer said the address by Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) Alice Weidel was of “real importance” because it shows a “German view of Brexit”.
He had come under fire for sharing a clip of the speech on Twitter, below which he wrote: “The AfD leader asks ‘Is it any wonder the British see bad faith behind every manoeuvre from Brussels?”’
Labour MP David Lammy accused Rees-Mogg of “promoting Germany’s overtly racist party, AfD”.
He tweeted: “Our country’s proudest moment was defeating the far right.
“Now we are supposed to sit back while xenophobes, nativists, nationalists & isolationists do their best to tear Europe apart again. We must not let them win.”
But Rees-Mogg told LBC radio: “I’m not supporting the AfD, but this is a speech made in the Bundestag of real importance because it shows a German view of Brexit.
“And it is saying to the Germans, ‘Look, you’re paying for this, you’re going to pay more for this’ and Angela Merkel has tied herself up in knots with the French to the disadvantage of the Germans.
“And I think it’s important people know that this is a strand of German political thinking.
“I don’t think retweeting is an endorsement of things that other people stand for - it’s just pointing out that there’s something interesting that is worth watching.”
The AfD was founded in 2013 as a Eurosceptic party, and has since campaigned for tougher immigration laws.
Its stance on race and religion have provoked outrage in Germany, and it came under heavy criticism last year for posters which called for “Islam-free schools”.