Jacob Rees-Mogg jokes about 'God's own county' in Parliament
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Tory MP and leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg made a joke at the expense of Conservative MP Ahmad Khan and House Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle. Mr Khan made a tongue in cheek remark about his constituency Wakefield being the heart of God’s county to which Mr Rees-Mogg had a witty reply. The Leader of the House of Commons also cheekily took aim at Sir Lindsay Hoyle as he insisted his own county, Somerset, was God’s own county.
Mr Khan said: “Across the length and breadth of our great kingdom there is a yearning for justice to be delivered.
“In scripture, wise King Solomon delivered a common sense of justice.
“But in Wakefield, the heart of God’s own county, we are unable to handout punishment upon wrongdoers due to the sad demise of our magistrate’s court.
“As a consequence of the pandemic, the Government has opened Knightingale courts to assist in mitigating the backlog that has developed but this is only a temporary measure.
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“Would the right honourable leader find time for a debate on the need to open new permanent Magistrate courts, including one for Wakefield?”
Before answering seriously, Mr Rees-Mogg stood up and joked with the Tory MP.
He said: “Mr Speaker, there are also wrongdoers like my honourable friend who get confused about which county is God’s own county.
“For the record, it is Somerset, not Yorkshire.”
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Laughter could then be heard throughout the Commons before Mr Rees-Mogg mocked the Commons Speaker as well.
Mr Rees-Mogg continued: “A nice place though Yorkshire is and Lancashire, Mr Speaker, it is marvellous too.
“But to make this clear, only Somerset is God’s own county.”
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Mr Rees-Mogg then seriously replied to Mr Khan and said: “£142m of tax-payers money has been put into the biggest expenditure in the court estate maintenance in more than 20 years.
“Also £110 million has been spent on emergency measures to ensure courts are Covid secure.
“With regards to Wakefield magistrates, a decision was taken to close it in 2016.
“The Ministry of Justice has advised me that they have not seen deterioration in capacity or workload that would mean wanting to go back on that decision.”
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