Jacob Rees-Mogg denies knowing TB’s views


1:26 pm - August 8th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    


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Within hours of our story, the Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has distanced himself from Traditional Britain.

Here is The Times journalist Laura Pitel

He has also released a full statement to the Telegraph:

I addressed the annual dinner of the Traditional Britain Group in May. This was one of dozens of engagements for a variety of Conservative groups I have carried out this year. About a day before I addressed them I received a message warning me of their right wing connections. I made, in the limited time available, some investigation into these and put them to the organiser of the dinner. He denied that the Traditional Britain Group held such views and told me that it was a smear. My assistant also contacted Central Office who had no knowledge of the group which they could give me.

I am shocked by the comments made by members of the Traditional Britain Group which I note from the Liberal Conspiracy website seem to have been made after I had addressed the dinner. I can entirely disassociate myself with the Traditional Britain Group as I have never been a member or supporter.

But this statement is disingenuous.

First, these comments were posted before the dinner

Second, he was warned by Searchlight magazine:

The Traditional Britain Group held their AGM on 18 May and invited the Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg to speak at a dinner the evening before. Searchlight tried to dissuade him from going, and Gerry Gable had a polite and serious exchange in which Gerry explained who and what the TBG are, but it seems he was persuaded at the eleventh hour by smooth talking from the liar Gregory Lauder-Frost, the TBG’s vice president. Little good did it do them because the word circulating among hard-core members was that the speech was a let down, as Rees-Mogg avoided endorsing their extreme views.

Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for North East Somerset, Todd Foreman, has sent us this statement:

It’s shocking that a Conservative MP should choose to associate himself with a group which has such extreme and unpleasant views. Jacob Rees-Mogg has made a serious error of judgement. He should make clear that he does not support the deportation of black Britons, or celebrate the French far-right National Front, or regard ethnic minority MPs as foreign.

Condoning views like these is not harmless fun or mild eccentricity – it is deeply offensive and shows a lack of respect and common sense. It’s yet another example of a Tory who is completely out of touch with modern Britain.

Another question arises too – Why didn’t Conservative Central HQ vet this group properly, and why did they let Rees-Mogg speak at the dinner?

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


[…]the speech was a let down, as Rees-Mogg avoided endorsing their extreme views.

As much as I think he is a bit of a wally. I think I am tending towards giving Jacob Rees-Mogg a benefit of the doubt on this.

Any unpleasant views he has don’t seem to nearly be on level as this group. Though yes, he could have researched the group more thoroughly.

Why didn’t Conservative Central HQ vet this group and allow Rees-Mogg to speak at the Traditional Britain group?

This is really sloppily worded.

obviously neither Mr. Rees-Mogg or his advisors have ever heard of a thing called Google either. On the Trad Britain page for the event, they talk about quizzing him specifically about their policies – check it out.

First, these comments were posted before the dinner

Yes, and if there’s one MP I’d have expected to keep close tabs on a Facebook group it’s Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Why didn’t Conservative Central HQ vet this group and allow Rees-Mogg to speak at the Traditional Britain group?

Because CCHQ don’t have the time or the resources to examine every single meeting and groupuscle that MPs give speeches to.

4. Ray Kempson

Some people here seem to be saying that Rees-Mogg should be given the benefit of the doubt, yet this is the toff who basically always gives off the air that he is ”All Knowing” I definitely do not believe that he did not know what ”Traditional Britain” are all about. That’s like saying you didn’t realise that Enoch Powell was an out & out racist. The blunder he made is that he was caught on the hop. If the truth be known he probably supports Enoch Powell’s views, and he knows that if he was alive today he would probably be the leader of ”Traditional Britain”

Ray, Powell was a very important politician who made a very public speech which created a big hoo-haa. No could reasonably say they were ignorant of his views on race.

This is a tiny little group no one had really heard of (including invited speakers, apparently). They are hardly comparable.

Also, critically, TBG thought “the speech was a let down” because “Rees-Mogg avoided endorsing their extreme views.”

As I understand it, Rees-Mogg went there to talk about Mass, not about repatriating immigrants or on “how Enoch was right”

@TimJ

Don’t MPs have secretaries, interns, aides, parliamentary and party bureaucracy? Even if he’s so self-consciously technophobic as to have nothing to do with the Internet then he should at least have someone working for him do the due diligence and check up on the organisations he’s legitimising by visiting and speaking at their events. Your snarky comments about GCHQ are silly and misplaced. Being technophobic and backwards doesn’t erase his culpability. No one’s talking about tapping these people’s phones – just ten seconds on Google would have sufficed.

He should be requested to return to his natural home planet. And he will be. When he loses his marginal seat.

Even if he’s so self-consciously technophobic as to have nothing to do with the Internet then he should at least have someone working for him do the due diligence and check up on the organisations he’s legitimising by visiting and speaking at their events.

Up to a point I guess. Until today I suspect if you googled them you’d get to their website, which is much less nasty than their facebook page. JRM says that he asked Simon Heffer, who previously spoke to the group, what they were like and was reassured that they were legit. This goes to show that if you ask Simon Heffer a quesion, you get a silly answer.

Your snarky comments about GCHQ are silly and misplaced.

If I’d been talking about GCHQ then I would have been a bit silly. Luckily, I wasn’t. I was talking about CCHQ (which is what Sunny called them – their current name is Conservative Central Office).

9. Patrick Roden

The labour spokesman mentions that referring to people as foreign can be offensive, so I wonder what he would say, if he discovered that the Labour Party in Westminster has repeatedly used the term foreigner as a smear and as a negative term in the Scottish Referendum debate,

They have used the term to say that if someone who is Scottish has relatives living in England, then that relative will become a ‘foreigner’ if Scotland votes for independence.

This can be clearly shown to mean that as far as labour politicians are concerned the To be a foreigner is to be less than Scottish and unless they think English is less than Scottish I presume Labour think foreigners are less beings than the British.

So stop your hypocrisy Labour and stop trying to score political points.

Do the right thing and stand up to the growth of anti-foreigner rhetoric.

@5

Calum Heaton-Gent, who was seated to the right of Rees-Mogg is a former member of the BNP and still holds far-right views, claimed that he wanted to meet Moggy, whom he describes as “his political hero”. Anyone whose hero is man who resembles a character from a bad PG Wodehouse novel needs serious help.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/revealed-the-third-man-in-that-traditional-britain-photo–and-what-he-says-about-the-new-loony-right-8771448.html


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