‘Flouncer!’ Jacob Rees-Mogg mocks Remainer Lord Heseltine as Brexit feud erupts

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Mr Rees-Mogg made his remarks at Cadogan Hall last night as he answered questions posed by the Daily Telegraph’s Christopher Hope, as well as audience members. Asked whether there were “any circumstances in which he would stay in the Cabinet if the UK is still a member of the EU on November 1, 2019”, Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “I’m not a flouncer.

“I don’t model myself on Lord Heseltine.”

His swipe at the former Conservative Party heavyweight drew loud applause from the packed venue.

Leader of the House of Commons Mr Rees-Mogg continued: “I think my role is to be one of the staunchest supports of the Prime Minister.

“I took the decision to back him very early on, he has my complete and utter support and I will carry on supporting him until he comes to the decision, which always happens, that my services are no longer required.

“But I hope that is a little bit into the future.”

Lord Heseltine famously quit as Defence Secretary in 1986 as a result of a row over the future of Westland Helicopter, setting into motion a chain of events which led to him launching a leadership challenge which ultimately resulted in the departure of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

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 “They should be appalled at wreckers who suggest we should be there to disrupt Europe.

“A statement, I have to say, by Jacob Rees-Mogg which has done more to undermine British influence in Europe than any recent statement I can remember.”

Mr Heseltine’s criticism was a reference to remarks by Mr Rees-Mogg made earlier in the month about the possibility – which became a reality – of the UK being required to field candidates in the elections, almost three years after the 2016 referendum.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: “If a long extension leaves us stuck in the EU we should be as difficult as possible.

“We could veto any increase in the budget, obstruct the putative EU army and block Mr Macron’s integrationist schemes.”

Speaking last night, Mr Rees-Mogg also admitted he had made a “mistake” in backing Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement on the third time of asking, insisting he had only done so because he feared Brexit might otherwise not happen at all.

He explained: “I believed Mrs May when she said we would leave on March 29. “I thought it was the least bad option.”

He also stressed his surprise at the levels of resistance to Brexit among Remainers.

He said: “The establishment turned out to be much more cavalier about our democratic processes than we thought.

“Dare I mention the BBC? It’s the propaganda arm of the EU.

“The establishment is more powerful than I had imagined – and more hostile to democracy.” 

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