Egg and spoon race spotted at Conservative Party Conference
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Speaking on Monday, the leader of the House of Commons hailed the former Labour leader’s “stubbornness” towards even pro-Remain Tories as the reason why an interim prime minister was not installed to “stop it”. Mr Rees-Mogg also praised Mr Corbyn’s successor, Sir Keir Starmer, albeit in an offhand way, describing him as a “very respectable, second-rate leader”.
The Tory Brexiteer’s statements have split opinion amongst Remainers, with some agreeing that Mr Corbyn was one of the causes of Brexit.
Mr Rees-Mogg said it was “amazing how close it came to us not getting Brexit, that the British establishment wanted to stop it and were trying very hard.
“And you know who we should thank, oddly? Let’s see if the Conservative audience can cope with this: we should thank Jeremy Corbyn.
“I’ll tell you why. Because [those on] our side who hated Brexit would have accepted any other Labour leader as interim prime minister to stop Brexit and have a second referendum etc.
“And any other Labour leader might have accepted one of our side to be an interim prime minister to stop Brexit.”
He continued: “But Jeremy Corbyn was unacceptable to Tories who would simply not, however much they hated Brexit, have him as leader, and there was absolutely no way he was going to make way for anybody else.
“Therefore we got to an election and won it handsomely because the people wanted what they voted for to be delivered.
“But without Jeremy Corbyn’s obduracy, stubbornness, we might not have got it – and I think it came very close to not happening.”
Referring to his appraisal of Sir Keir, Mr Rees-Mogg said he “meant that nicely. We want to have a respectable Opposition.”
However, he said the Labour leader “on the charisma stakes against our leader, doesn’t rank particularly highly.”
He added that Sir Keir “is not going to impose a Communist state on us”, but “he isn’t Tarzan, swinging through the jungle, enthusing everybody with excitement, is he? No.”
Mr Rees-Mogg drew a cricket analogy between the two leaders, saying: “If Boris Johnson is Donald Bradman then I think Keir Starmer is Chris Tavare.
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“If you remember him – if you’re a cricketing fanatic – he played for Somerset for a bit and always scored quite quickly for Somerset and less so when he played for England.
In the same speech, he referred to Mr Johnson’s former senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, as “a sort of Voldemort of the Tory Party”.
Mr Cummings left Downing Street at the end of last year, following reports of a growing rift between himself and the Prime Minister.
Asked about his love for Cadbury Crème Eggs, Mr Rees-Mogg described them as “the most supreme snack”.
He added: “They’ve got everything about them. They are health-giving, unquestionably, they provide you with an important part of your calorific intake for the day.”
Reacting to Mr Rees-Mogg’s comments on Twitter, @BrexitBin agreed that “the last chance we had to stop Brexit was sabotaged by Corbyn.
“Labour still supports leaving the single market and ending freedom of movement. Until Labour supporters stop denying their role in Brexit, nothing will change.
@DurhamWhines responded that a Labour Brexit deal “would have looked different”.
They added: “To blame this mess on what would have been completely different set of measures is wrong.
“This simply allows them to shift blame.”
Meanwhile, @johnandi said Mr Rees-Mogg was “not lying for once”, while @Liver_and_Bacon asked: “So Corbyn called the referendum not Cameron?”
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