Jacob Rees-Mogg turns Commons into a ‘laughing stock’ as he plays Rule, Britannia down microphone

PUBLISHED: 13:50 03 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:01 03 September 2020

Jacob Rees-Mogg sparked a cringeworthy moment in the Commons after he played a snippet of Rule, Britannia! down the microphone of the despatch box. Photograph: Parliament TV

Jacob Rees-Mogg sparked a cringeworthy moment in the Commons after he played a snippet of Rule, Britannia! down the microphone of the despatch box. Photograph: Parliament TV

Archant

Jacob Rees-Mogg sparked a cringeworthy moment in the Commons after he played a snippet of Rule, Britannia! down the microphone of the despatch box.

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The Commons Leader held his mobile phone close to the microphone near the despatch box and pressed play, ensuring MPs heard the words: “When Britain first, at heaven’s command.”

Rees-Mogg was replying to Conservative colleague Joy Morrissey, who suggested the BBC had used a “smokescreen set of excuses” for its original decision to “mask yet another virtue-signalling capitulation to political correctness”.


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Rule, Britannia! and Land Of Hope And Glory will now be sung at the concert, following weeks of debate.

The BBC previously said the pieces would feature without lyrics, following controversy over their perceived historical links with colonialism and slavery, but they will now be performed by a select group of vocalists.

The corporation announced the U-turn one day after Tim Davie took over as director general.

In the Commons, Rees-Mogg told the speaker: “I of course apologise for any offence I may have given the House, but when Britain first, at heaven’s command, arose from out the azure main, this was the anthem of the land and guardian angels sang this strain.

“Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves, and Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

“And let us hope the BBC will recognise the virtues of Britannia in this land of hope and glory.”

The stunt divided social media with some cringing at the footage.

“That man is so out of touch with reality, it’s almost as if he is just a parody,” said one.

Another wrote: “His lot have turned us into a laughing stock”.

“Chuckles over a song while millions cant pay their bloody bills,” posted @MacLiv.

“Very disappointed that he didn’t wheel in a gramophone to play it,” tweeted Mark Egan.

John Taylor added: “Get a grip on the unfolding pandemic and economic disaster and stop trying to distract the public with a phoney culture war. So out of touch it is almost laughable.”

Later in Business Questions, Labour MP Kevin Brennan quipped: “I was very disappointed with (Rees-Mogg’s) little musical stunt with his mobile phone earlier on – a clear case I thought of Britannia waives the rules.”

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