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James O’Brien takes aim at Jacob Rees-Mogg for ‘attacking’ lockdown rules to defend PM
4 April 2022, 13:49
James O’Brien hit out at Jacob Rees-Mogg, accusing the Brexit Opportunities Minister of launching “an attack” on lockdown rules to defend the Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson has been accused of breaking coronavirus regulations, at a number of events held at 10 Downing Street during lockdown.
Last week the Metropolitan Police began issuing £50 fines to some attendees, with more expected to follow.
Appearing on Nick Ferrari’s LBC show Mr Rees-Mogg branded some of the lockdown rules “inhuman”, and refused to say Mr Johnson should resign if found to have broken them.
This sparked an angry response from James, who argued the minister was “attacking the rules”.
He said: “In preparation for the Prime Minister potentially being found to have broken the rules, Jacob Rees-Mogg has launched an attack on the rules. You can’t make this stuff up anymore can you?”
James sarcastically added: “What are you going to do if the Prime Minister has broken the rules that everybody else obeyed, and got fined and criminalised for breaking?
“Well we’ll be attacking the rules obviously.”
The LBC presenter compared the situation with the Government’s attempts to defend Owen Patterson, after he was found to have broken lobbying rules.
Rather than accept Mr Patterson’s 30-day suspension from the Commons, Mr Johnson and Mr Rees-Mogg tried to rip up the Parliamentary sleaze watchdog.
James commented: “It’s the Owen Patterson preservation society isn’t it.
“Owen Patterson found to have acted corruptly, broken the rules governing parliamentary standards, what did Rees-Mogg do?
“Masterminded an abortive attempt to rip up the actual rule book in the hope of saving the crony who’d broken the rules. So we should have seen that coming.”
Earlier, a caller accused Mr Rees-Mogg of “insulting the intelligence of the British Public”.
It came after the Minister refused to apologise for describing the row over Downing Street parties as “fluff” and “fundamentally trivial”.