Jacob Rees-Mogg tells Andrew Marr that Partygate is not “the most pressing political issue” in the midst of war

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Jacob Rees-Mogg tells Andrew Marr that Partygate is not ‘the most pressing political issue’ and that ‘perspective’ is needed against backdrop of war in Ukraine and cost of living crisis

  • Jacob Rees-Mogg says ‘perspective’ needed on Partygate and Ukraine
  • The Tory said a fine was not ‘the most pressing political issue’ compared to a war
  • Andrew Marr said calling the fine ‘fluff’ was offensive and thinks others agree

Jacob Rees-Mogg told Andrew Marr tonight that ‘perspective’ is needed when discussing Prime Ministers’ breach of lockdown restrictions, against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.

The Tory minister told Mr Marr on LBC Tonight with Andrew Marr that he had no regrets calling Partygate a ‘fluff’ after Boris Johnson was fined by police .

“What is happening now two years later compared to what is happening in Ukraine, what is happening with the cost of living crisis, you have to take a step back,” he said.

“What is happening in Ukraine is fundamental to the security of the Western world. And you compare it to being fined for something that happened two years ago.

Mr Rees-Mogg said people should look to the “security of the Western world” instead and that the fine was not “the most pressing political issue”.

“The Daily Mail headline said ‘remember there’s a war’ and that’s something we need to remember – we need a sense of perspective,” he added .

Mr Marr said calling the breaches “fluff” was offensive and said many people who have lost loved ones during the pandemic would agree.

The presenter, whose father died during the pandemic and whose funeral took place the same week as one of the Partygate breaches, said he was ‘extremely angry’ that they weren’t allowed only to a small gathering to mark the life of his father.

Mr Rees-Mogg said people should look to the “security of the Western world” instead and that the fine was not “the most pressing political issue”.

“He was an elder in the Church of Scotland – that church was locked and off limits,” Mr Marr said.

“We had a small reunion, most of the family wasn’t there. The other parishioners he would have liked to be there were not allowed to be there because we followed the rules.

“And I felt intensely angry about it – and I don’t consider it fluffy.”

Mr Rees-Mogg said the closure of churches during the pandemic was a “big mistake” and that “all deaths are sadnesses”.

Earlier today Mr Johnson issued an ‘unreserved apology’ to the House of Commons and denied misleading MPs when he previously said ‘all guidelines were followed completely’ in Downing Street .

Andrew Marr said calling the breaches

Andrew Marr said calling the breaches “fluff” was offensive and said many people who have lost loved ones during the pandemic would agree. Photographed in the studio last month

“Let me also say, not by way of mitigation or apology – but only because it explains my previous words in this House – that it did not occur to me at the time or subsequently that a gathering in the Cabinet Room just before a vital Covid strategy meeting could be a breach of the rules,” he told MPs.

He added: “I feel even more compelled to respect the priorities of the British people – and to respond in the best traditions of our country to Putin’s barbaric attack on Ukraine.”

The Prime Minister was called upon to resign today by Conservative MP Mark Harper.

The Forest of Dean politician told the Commons: “I regret to say that we have a Prime Minister who broke the laws he told the country he had to follow, was not straight forward about it. “

‘And [he] will now ask the honest men and women of these benches to defend what I believe to be indefensible.

“I am truly sorry to have to say this, but I no longer believe he is worthy of the great office he holds.”

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