Jacob Rees-Mogg has sparked a furious backlash after he was pictured lounging across the benches of the House of Commons during a key Brexit debate.
Labour MP Anna Turley, who took the snap, said Rees-Mogg’s pose was “the physical embodiment of arrogance, entitlement, disrespect and contempt for our parliament”.
It came during an acrimonious debate on Brexit that ended with Boris Johnson losing a vote that allows a cross-party group of MPs, including a swathe of Tory rebels, to hijack the Commons agenda and legislate to block no-deal.
The physical embodiment of arrogance, entitlement, disrespect and contempt for our parliament. pic.twitter.com/XdnFQmkfCS— Anna Turley MP (@annaturley) September 3, 2019
Mr Rees-Mogg is among those demanding the UK leaves the EU on 31 October, regardless of whether a deal has been reached or not.
During the debate Mr Rees-Mogg claimed those supporting the emergency motion were “Illuminati who are taking the powers to themselves” and warned that Parliament should not undertake the role and functions of the executive.
The picture has sparked widespread reaction from MPs, some of whom reportedly shouted “sit up” at him.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said Mr Rees-Mogg’s body language was “so contemptuous of this House and of the people”. Addressing him directly in the Commons, Ms Lucas said: “For the benefit of Hansard, the Leader of the House has been spread across around three seats, lying out as if that was something very boring for him to listen to tonight.”
Labour MP Karl Turner said that as a “working-class bloke”, he had never felt such a “sense of entitlement”.
As a working class bloke brought up on a council estate in #Hull I always feel enormous pride and gratitude when I go into the chamber of the House of Commons to represent east #Hull. I’ve never felt a sense of entitlement. This is what that looks like!?— Karl Turner MP (@KarlTurnerMP) September 3, 2019
Madeleine Moon branded it symbolic of a “twisted old Etonian belief in divine right to rule”.
More MPs waded in as Ms Turley’s tweet went viral.
Just go to your work tomorrow and during a crucial meeting sit like this when someone is speaking and see what happens.— Toby Perkins (@tobyperkinsmp) September 3, 2019
If it ends badly just regret the fact that you weren't born to rule and far too important to listen to anyone else's view. https://t.co/nW3lxql7qL
I think the House can unite on that point this evening. https://t.co/wDSVAUjoTw— Holly Lynch MP (@HollyLynch5) September 3, 2019
Mr Rees-Mogg, who has been MP for North East Somerset since 2010, was educated at Eton College and is renowned for his upper-class mannerisms.
He is the son of William Rees-Mogg, a former editor of The Times, who was made a life peer in 1988.