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  2. UK Politics
1 April 2019updated 08 Jul 2021 11:16am

Jacob Rees-Mogg tweets approvingly of German far-right party with neo-Nazi links

By Media Mole

Leading Tory Brexiteer and pub bore in butler’s clothing Jacob Rees-Mogg has tweeted something particularly dodgy today – and no, your mole doesn’t mean an obscure Latin idiom.

He – or the woman who runs his Twitter account from his constituency office – tweeted a video of a speech by Alice Weidel, co-leader of the German far-right party, which has been tied to neo-Nazism, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). The party has anti-immigration and Islamophobic views.

But the video wasn’t tweeted in horror. It was quoted approvingly:

“The AfD leader asks “Is it any wonder the British see bad faith behind every manoeuvre from Brussels?””

Rees-Mogg was quick to deploy his silky tones on LBC, defending the tweet, erroneously calling it “re-tweeting” (it’s not, it’s an original tweet), and that “I don’t think re-tweeting is an endorsement of things that other people stand for”.

He said he’s “not supporting the AfD” but felt Weidel’s speech, which criticised the EU’s approach to Brexit negotiations, was “of real importance because it shows a German view of Brexit”.

Anyone who thinks Rees-Mogg is too refined and civil for associating himself with the pronouncements of the far right just need to remember: he’s met in London with the ex-adviser to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, who co-founded the alt-right media platform Breitbart, has called Tommy Robinson the “backbone” of Britain, and once said you should wear the label “racist” as a “medal”.

Bannon has already stated his intention to create a movement in Europe to connect far-right groups and back new ones. He also wants to develop a “supergroup” – echoing his worldview of a clash of civilisations – in the European Parliament. Rees-Mogg tried to distance himself from Bannon’s plans last September.

“Meeting someone does not mean you’re endorsing them,” he told Reuters at the time. A familiar defence – and just as weak.

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