Steerpike

Rees-Mogg’s No. 10 party jibe

Rees-Mogg's No. 10 party jibe
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It’s a difficult time for liberty lovers in the cabinet. The country is £400 billion in debt, the risk of Covid restrictions linger on and there’s a Prime Minister addicted to spending. Luckily though, while the convention of collective responsibility binds our ministers tightly, it cannot entirely gag them. 

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, took to the stand tonight as the guest of honour at the IEA think tank. In a sly pop at Downing Street’s current difficulties over whether a lockdown-breaking party was held last December, Rees-Mogg told the fervently Thatcherite crowd:

I see we’re all here obeying the regulations aren’t we? I mean this party is not going to be investigated by the police in a year’s time, you are all being carefully socially distanced I’m glad to say. 

Given it's the festive season, the Somerset MP decided to give a panto-style speech, teasing his audience with a classic call and response performance. To cries of ‘lower taxes’ and ‘lower regulation', he told the crowd:

Now we have to recognise that we need a growing economy to pay our way and how are we going to get that: higher taxes or lower taxes, you tell me? Can we have a shout out? You see I’m bound by collective responsibility so I didn’t want to express an opinion, I just wanted to seek the opinion of the IEA? And do you think we will get that via higher regulation or lower? Very good! I again am not expressing an opinion...

Let's hope for JRM's sake the PM isn't feeling like a pantomime villain this Christmas...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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