Mark Gatiss didn’t hold back when it came to Jacob Rees-Mogg’s infamous Commons slouch
Writer and actor Mark Gatiss had several words for Jacob Rees-Mogg after the Conservative MP was seen reclining during a historic parliamentary debate on Monday night.
As the Commons fought for control of the the parliamentary agenda on 3 September, a decision which could change the course of the Brexit process and trigger a snap general election, Rees-Mogg, leader of the house, was to be found sprawled across the front bench.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas accused Rees-Mogg of showing disdain for due process.
“There’s been a lot of talk about democracy tonight and the leader of the house, who – I have to say – with his body language throughout this evening has been so contemptuous of this house and of the people,” she said, as MPs jeered at him to “sit up”.
For the benefit of parliamentary record, she described Rees-Mogg as being “spread across three seats, lying out as if that was something very boring to listen to tonight”.
Lucas later tweeted that she’d “spent nearly three hours watching him in a prone position and it got too much”.
A clip of the exchange shared widely on Twitter prompted outrage from many, including League of Gentleman star Mark Gatiss.
Look at this hateful column of dust. Tells you everything. pic.twitter.com/gYfHmFUPhB
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) September 3, 2019
Labour MP Angela Rayner made a joke about the Rees-Mogg family nanny, who cared for the MP from birth and now looks after his own children – and has previously been pictured canvassing with him.
Jacob Rees-Mogg is almost lying down on the Tory front benches, l am half expecting his nanny to march into the chamber with a blanket, pillow and a hot cup of Horlicks for the poor man! ?
— Angela Rayner ? (@AngelaRayner) September 3, 2019
Labour peer Andrew Adonis was one of many to parody Rees-Mogg’s behaviour, which came shortly after Phillip Lee MP defected from the Tories to the Lib Dems, removing the government’s one-vote majority.
— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) September 3, 2019
Naturally, memes were quick to follow.
— chelseasider (@chelseasider) September 3, 2019
Jacob Rees Mogg after the vote pic.twitter.com/Dwbb9a7V1D
— Siobhán ? (@wigglymittens) September 3, 2019
Who….who did this? ? pic.twitter.com/NQKwl7JzOq
— ☘️??Jack Monroe (@BootstrapCook) September 4, 2019
A simple explanation?
Tory MP Ben Bradley suggested that Rees-Mogg’s slouch was simply him trying to listen to a speaker in the Commons bench.
“Those who know the House of Commons know that there are speakers in the back of the chairs and that the only way to listen to the speaker is to slouch because they’re at midriff height,” he told BBC Radio 5’s Nicky Campbell.
MPs to vote on Brexit delay and possibly a snap general election.
The result of Monday night’s vote means that MPs will on Tuesday, September 4, debate a cross-party bill which would oblige Boris Johnson to seek a new Brexit extension, taking a no-deal Brexit on October 31 off the table.
If passed, the prime minister would be forced to call for an extension until at least January 31.
Johnson has said that should this be the case, he will call for a general election to be held on October 15.
In order for an election to be held before the next scheduled vote (in 2022), two-thirds of parliament must agree to it.
Labour has said that it will not approve Johnson’s motion for a snap election unless the Brexit delay bill is passed.
“We are not going to be voting with Johnson today,” shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“[Johnson] says: ‘Of course I’ll have a general election on 15 October, nothing to worry about’ – but no one in parliament trusts this man.
“We are not going to dance to Boris Johnson’s tune.
“What we want to ensure is we’ve got the insurance policy of taking no deal off the table and we will have a general election on our terms, not Boris Johnson’s terms.”